A Topsy Turvy World

Theme: The last shall be first - Proper 20 (25) 17th Sunday after Pentecost Yr B
Object: None needed
Scripture: Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35 (NIV)

Have you ever heard someone say, "We live in a 'Topsy Turvy' world?" Do you know what that means? It means that everything is the opposite of what people think it should be. Everything is backward or upside down. It means that things are confused and disorganized because everything is happening in the wrong order. Here is a poem that I learned in school that might help you to understand it a little bit better.

If Things Grew Down
by Robert D. Hoeft

If things grew down instead of up,
A dog would grow into a pup.
A cat would grow into a kitten,
Your sweater would grow into a mitten.
A cow would grow into a calf,
A whole would grow into a half.
Big would grow into something small,
And small would grow into nothing at all!

It would really be confusing if we lived in a world like that, wouldn't it? That must have been how the disciples felt one day when Jesus was trying to teach them a lesson about who was the greatest in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road when Jesus heard them arguing among themselves. When they arrived at the house where they were going, Jesus asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" The disciples didn't answer because they were embarrassed. You see, they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. But they didn't have to say anything, because Jesus already knew.

"So you want first place, do you?" Jesus said. "Then you must take the last place. If you want to be the greatest, then you must be a servant to all." Then Jesus called a small child over to him and put his arms around him. "If anyone welcomes a little child like this, he welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me."

The disciples must have thought, "What a Topsy Turvy world! If you want to be first, you have to go to the end of the line! If you want to be the greatest, you must become a servant! If you want to be important, you have to become like a little child!"

The teachings of Jesus are very different from the way most people think today. We live in a world where people want to be first. They want power and influence. They think that adults are more important than children, but in God's Kingdom, the children are just as important as anyone. Aren't you glad they are?

Dear Father, we thank you for your love for children. Help us to remember as we grow older, that to be great in your sight, we must come to you as a child. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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