Pondering for Sunday, August 28, 2022

New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 17: Year C

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 and Luke 14:1, 7-14

“For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  (Luke 14:11)

Words by Mac Davis; “O Lord it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way, I can’t wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day.”  Funny the way humility works.  If you brag about it, it’s lost.  Sorry Mac.

Humility is so lacking in our society today. However, it is still very much needed.  We all need people who put community first.  We need more people who want to take a back seat for themselves and focus on the needs of the welfare of family, of friends, and of neighbors.

Humility is putting others first without the thought of reward or even recognition for it. It is just a way of life. Once we learn to reduce our needs for vanity, we are better enabled to tend to the needs of others who are often in more dire straits than ourselves. From C.S. Lewis, he says about humility, “Humility is not so much about thinking less of yourself, but rather, thinking of yourself less.”

Self promoting seems to be the way of the world today. But as Christians we are called to be “other promoting.”  When I look at group photos I try to see who is in the back, or partially behind someone.  It’s hard to see them because someone who thinks they are “more important” has blocked the camera’s view.

Our Church is maintained by humble people. We are maintained by an Altar guild and worship support folks we never see, but we are cared for by them in the service materials being properly placed.  The church is financially functioning because unnoticed tellers receive, count and hand over to a “behind-the-scenes” vestry who accounts for contributions every Sunday. These are just few of the many “hidden figures” who humbly serve us out of the love in their hearts.

Perhaps the most humble act that we can do today is just showing up.  You don’t have to be special, you just have to be present.  Show up to visit someone who is sick; show up to take someone to an appointment; show up to attend a meeting.  All of these are selfless acts that are so meaningful to those you serve.  And remember the words from the letter to the Hebrews: “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1 – 2). And remember not to boast. “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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