One word, perhaps, sum up the Lectionary readings this week: humility. In the face of a culture in which we are all encouraged to ‘value ourselves’, to ‘reach for what we want’ and to ‘not let anyone stop us’, this can be a difficult, even ridiculous, word.
To claim that true, vibrant, authentic life is found in simplicity, fidelity, contentment and humility sounds naive and out of touch. And yet, this is exactly what Jesus asks us to believe – and to embrace – this week.
Pride leads God’s people to turn to their own resources and reject God’s ways and God’s resources (Jeremiah & Psalm 81). The result of this is inevitable failure or harm or the humiliation of being turned away from sought-after places of honour that we do not ‘deserve’ (Luke).
Rather, honour and fullness of life are found in a humble commitment to following God’s ways, remaining faithful and trusting, and living with grace, generosity, compassion, fidelity, and inclusive hospitality (Hebrews and Luke).
May our worship re-align our priorities and bring us the richness that comes from humility.