Paradoxically, humility is one of the great virtues for the Christian, who wishes to follow Jesus! Jesus deigned to become incarnate. He stepped into the teaming mess of humanity coming not to be served but to serve and pour out himself to ransom humanity. The Master took the towel and then the rough wooden cross. If I do not prize humility, my claim to follow His way is a pretense.
In Luke 14 Jesus offers two ways of attaining humility.
The first is through humiliation. The proud guest claims a place at the party that is reserved for another. Humiliated, he is escorted to the available seat which is in the lowest place. I imagine all eyes taking in this humiliating event. It is a walk of shame. He thought more highly of himself than he ought and is publicly brought low. Now though comes his life altering choice: does he become angry and bitter at this oh so public shaming? Or does he take the choice of humility and allow grace to flow?
The second is through the deliberate choice of association with the humble. Jesus says not to invite the important and family and friends to the party but instead to invite the humble poor. I don’t think he is saying that we should not celebrate with family and friends. He seems to suggest that everyone does that. It is not a distinctive mark of the Christian disciple. The true mark is to associate with those the ‘world’ does not esteem, those whose friendship will not advance our worldly agenda.
Years ago, I would read this passage and relate more to the way of the person who sat above his station. I read with discomfort. But now I read it from the obscurity of our little Street Hope ministry, and I find comfort. I have come to enjoy the friendship of many who will not help advance my agenda. We often party and celebrate together, often at our Street Hope venues but frequently at my home.
This passage calls us to re-examine our ‘relational’ lives. Not to stop associating with friends and family but to purposely choose to include the humble poor in our circles. Jesus eschewed turning stones to bread. Charitable donations and hand-outs to panhandlers are good but are no substitute for personal relationship. Following after Him means humble service and friendship to those who have little to offer in return.
The bonus is that just as Jesus humility is rewarded with “the Name above all names…” so we are promised that such obedience is not without heavenly reward. Let’s store some of this up for ourselves by our deliberate choice of humility.
Last week we had a wonderful trip to St. Martins on our Roamin’ Holiday. We visited the caves and feasted on the World Famous Chowder. We visited Inthestillness where we were reminded of the importance of Sabbath. We took some pictures, and each will be given some. Many do not have photos, and these become prized possessions.
Our Pool Party and Barbecue was postponed due to stormy weather. We are looking forward to going on this adventure next Thursday instead. I’ll let you know how that goes.
I have not been well the last several weeks and have fallen behind on the necessary work on our new project. We are looking to create a Christian Community for those who have recovered from addiction. Threshold House needs refurbishment and renovation to house this. Much work needs to be done in the next few weeks and it all seems daunting right now. Please keep this project in your prayers.