Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”
Most of us have first-hand knowledge on the concept of “teamwork”. There’s a famous line that there’s no “I” in “t-e-a-m”. Any team is most valuable when all of the individual parts are working together for the Greater Good. Some of the most successful Companies, Sports Teams, and movements in history bring about discussions not just about the Team Members, but also about a courageous, inspired, wise, etc. CEO, a Coach, and/or a Leader. While it’s often critical that each Team Member perform their role to the best of their abilities, it’s also often critical that the Leader do the same, as well. A good Leader can bring all of the parts together in a way that can be miraculous, at times. Simply put, doing our best under His Leadership is what Jesus wants us to focus on the most. He is the Ultimate Leader and sets a flawless Example of how we are to live our lives to the best of our abilities. Jesus isn’t concerned so much about “who” is on His Team as much as He is concerned that everyone is welcome on His Team. He wants His Team Members to always try to love others to the best of their abilities. While we all fall short of “showing” the Perfect Love of Christ to others, none of us ever falls short of “receiving” His Love if we are on His Team. It’s only a matter of accepting His invitation to join His Eternal Team. And, He welcomes us all – no matter what walk of life we are taking. Let’s be sure to not let our differences in this world hinder His Love – after all, He’s the one that made us all so uniquely-designed as part of the tapestry of His Rainbow of Infinite Promise.