ON THE FIRST DAY…
Humility, a state of being humble, deriving from the Latin word, humilis.
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5, 8 (NRSV)
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but wisdom is with the humble.” Proverbs 11:2 (NRSV)
It has been said that communication between people, people with differing opinions or world views, has become more course, disconnected, lacking moral accountability, and too easily inhumane. We readily acknowledge that America is sharply divided spiritually, economically, politically, and socially and that a chasm has opened up that appears ever-widening and dangerously non-traversable with little interest in bridge building. We lament, “It’s too wide! Our differences are irreconcilable! What can one person alone accomplish? Or…I have no desire to engage those people anyway!”
We have all said something along those lines when confronted by pushback regarding our own deeply held beliefs or life’s passion. Hearts and minds tend to shut down refusing any further information that does not support our perspective or agenda, because we inherently believe our truth is already fully known and unalterably real. Social media also plays a role in gratifying instant responses to differing views, shapes who/what we categorize as corrupt, and readily offers affirmative voices to assuage our position. Added to that reality is a failure on all sides to be concerned with source integrity or fact-checking, promoting whatever comes our way by adding to the perpetual diatribe of the ludicrous. Truth is perceived as whatever supports my individual (or like-minded group’s) needs, beliefs, and perspective. Those not in agreement are determined WRONG, ignorant, and sadly, even demonized.
What can we possibly do to change such a perceived crystalline reality, complete and perfect in no apparent need of anything more?
Please note that you will find here musings gleaned from experiences gained as a fellow sojourner while leaning into the promised hope and reign of the Kingdom of God, now, in this time, everywhere and at once! Being followers of Christ has never been easy or simple in any age, nor was/is the journey of faith possible apart from the whole Body of Christ.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:16-21: “And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (NRSV)
To parse out the Body of Christ according to some other gospel that seeks personal authority and righteousness over against our calling to love God with our all our heart, mind strength and soul, or failing to love our neighbors and our enemies as ourselves is perilous!
Only by allowing the mind of Christ and his humility to shape our lived-Christian witness, will the bridge that is Christ’s own sacrifice for us, be visible and The Way forward begun. Christ invites us to journey together, warts and all, no exceptions!