Word of the Month

The best rankings

August 2019

Rankings are tremendously popular in the news media, and are among the most frequently read and displayed messages: which cities are ranked best to live? In which sectors can you earn the highest salaries? Which vacation destinations are in greatest demand?  Which brand of automobile performed the best in the tests? Often, the results of the last survey are also shown so that people can compare how a particular brand has developed: last year it may still have been in first place, but this year it is down to third place, for example.

The attempts of the disciples to establish a similar ranking system—not intended for public use, but rather more for internal use, so to speak—were quite clearly rejected by the Lord Jesus: “Yet it shall not be so among you.” With God there are no rankings, because faith is not a competition for the best rankings. Nevertheless, the human weakness of imagining that one is at least a little better than others is not easy to eradicate. Fortunately there is a remedy: all one needs to do is properly celebrate Holy Communion, and already all thoughts of any supposed superiority will vanish.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle