Category Archives: humility

Humble of heart

Leopold Müller [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

MORNING PRAYER
Leopold Müller [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

To humble myself is to let go of my need to be right and have all the answers. It is to be teachable. It is to see myself as I really am in relationship to God: a small, imperfect, wounded human person in need of love, guidance, and mercy.

[Jesus said,] “For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

Words in action

Rembrandt, Christ

Christ, ca.1648
Rembrandt (1606-1669)
oil on oak panel
via Wikimedia Commons

[Jesus said,] “Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them.” John 17:7

Peace, forgiveness, compassion, service, prayer, humility, love… these are words Jesus has given us. How have I passed these words on today?

 

Speaking from the heart

Rembrandt_Christ_with_two_disciples

Christ with two disciples on the road to Emmaus
Workshop of Rembrandt (1606–1669):Corrected by Rembrandt
Pen and brush in brown ink, washed, heightened with white, on paper, circa 1655
Warsaw University Library
via Wikimedia Commons

Then [the two disciples] said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

What language do I speak when I open my heart to others? The language of humility? sincerity? hope? faith?

When others speak to me from their hearts, in what language do I listen? The language of compassion? acceptance? non-judgment? peace?

Today I will practice speaking and listening with love. It’s the language we all share in common.

Honest doubts

Jesus appears to Thomas - John 20:24-29

JESUS MAFA. Jesus appears to Thomas, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” John 20:24

I wonder how convincing the other disciples were about their encounter with Jesus. Thomas may have had good reason to doubt them.

And I wonder how convincing I am as a witness for Jesus. Do I embody the compassion and unconditional love and non-judgment of Jesus? Do I embody the mercy and forgiveness and non-violence of Jesus? Do I embody the service and healing and humility of Jesus?

Honest doubt nudges me to deepen my commitment to practice the God-qualities that comfort and encourage others, and that bring peace to my corner of the world.

In Proportion

Proportion_and_Design_of_Part_of_Raphael's_Tranfiguration

Lecture Diagram 10: Proportion and Design of Part of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’. Part of the Turner Bequest to the Tate (1856).
By Joseph Mallord William Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:1-2

The spiritual mountain treks Jesus leads me on are always in proportion to my trust in God’s movement, my faith in the Spirit’s guidance, and my willingness to be transformed into a more exact icon of God’s love and goodness.

The mountain is usually high; I am almost always breathless, sometimes whiney, often overwhelmed. And God’s silent voice revealing the glory of Jesus is my reward.

Answering the call

Matthew4[Jesus] called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:21-22

What will it take for me to leave everything and follow Jesus into a life of nonviolence, love, forgiveness, and healing?

Can I take a step today into an intentional practice of compassion, kindness, encouragement, and awareness of the needs of others?

Down at the Jordan

Adi_Holzer_Werksverzeichnis_849_Die_Taufe

John the Baptist baptizes Jesus.
Handcolored etching The baptism by Adi Holzer 1997 (Work number 849). A part of the Rosentaler Suite from the year 1997.

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.
Matthew 3:16

With his baptism at the Jordan, Jesus shows us our calling, our blessing, our privilege: rising into the place of Divine Union with God and the Holy Spirit.