The First Shall be Last and the Last Shall be First
Our Sunday Bible study for English speaking Burmese was on this paradox spoken by Jesus. We read it in Mark chapter 10, but found an understanding of it in Matthew 20. Jesus taught using the parable of the vineyard owner who hired people all day long and then paid them the same wage. He turned our expectations of equity upside down and illuminated our tendency toward envy. But most important of all Jesus showed a picture of God’s grace. It was hard for the disciples to get a handle on this truth, in fact James and John hardly let Jesus catch his breath before they asked to have first place. In the related passage Jesus talks about leaving house, mother, father, brother and sister for his sake. He said that kind of sacrifice would be rewarded by 100 times. Many of our Burmese had to flee leaving behind their house, family and land because of persecution. I trust that our first Wesleyan church home can be a place where they can honor God and find the reward of a new life.