"But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first." (Mark 10:31 NRSV)
Jesus told a parable. A certain rich man had the very best of everything. Living outside the gate of the rich man's estate was a homeless man named Lazarus. Lazarus had nothing. Lazarus spent his days lying on the ground waiting for the servants to throw some food out to him.

The rich man surely saw Lazarus lying in front of his house, but he never paid much attention to him. We know how it is, don't we? Sometimes we too are guilty of blocking unpleasant sights from our mind. Poor people living in the streets and under bridges might as well be invisible. Poor people are often forgotten people. Even worse, there seems to be a great deal of anger building in our society towards those who are without. The rich man never really noticed Lazarus. He was just someone who was there--part of the scenery.

Both men die and something totally unexpected happens. A reversal of fortunes takes place. As Jesus told this parable, "The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham." The rich man was not so fortunate. He was headed for a warmer climate. The rich man, who had the best in life, was in Hades while Lazarus, the poor man who had nothing, was at Abraham's side.

Lord Jesus, turn me upside down, as you create a real servant. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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