Mark 12:38–40 (ESV)
Beware of the Scribes
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for
a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The one thing that I have always been a stickler for is to not receive special recognition for wearing a clerical collar.
It is easy for pastors to get preferential treatment and to let it go to their heads. Instead, I think of Jesus getting down and washing the disciples feet. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. Martin Luther writes: “In spiritual
gifts we far surpass others; but because we acknowledge these as gifts of God, not our own, granted to us for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12), we do not become proud on their account. For we know that more is required of him to whom much is given
than of him to whom little is given (Luke 12:48). In addition, we know that ‘God shows no partiality’ (Rom. 2:11). Therefore a faithful sexton is no less pleasing to God with his gift than is a preacher of the Word, for he serves God in the same
faith and spirit. And so we should not honor the lowest Christians any less than they honor us. In this way we remain free of the poison of vainglory and walk by the Spirit” (AE 27:103).
I pray: O Lord,
help me to never seek honor or do anything for something other than simply serving you. Let the Holy Spirit guide me, and direct me, according to your will. Amen.