God is humble. A listening ear may find music in random sounds. All around us are the songs of animal composers, whale and bird, frog and cricket. Human composers gather and assemble sounds into a collective to invoke emotive response. Composing human music is mathematical, and there is music to mathematics. There is a rhythm to our hearts and the motion of the universe. The water in our soil, the roll of the tides, and the emotions of sentient beings are linked to the phases of the moon.
God is humble.
Spiritual grace surrounds those who examine the smallest facets of the universe and ask the hard question of traditions; spiritual grace surrounds those who work to interpret sacred texts. The faithfulness of God is in the asking and in the response to questions about God.
God is humble.
It is a remarkable gift to feel small within the universe. As we stand on snowy tundra beneath bright, undulating, curtain patterns of aurora borealis, the significance of our individual concerns falls into new perspective. In greens, reds, and purples, the aerial movement leaves us hushed as a quiescent participant in something larger than ourselves. The great bowl of bright stars seen from a Kenyan plain, fireflies in a July cornfield, and ravens surfing the snowy wind call us to see ourselves beyond our own conditions and imagined self-importance.
Perhaps God is not a seeker of praise, but a delighted-in-our-delight God—the Giver of good gifts, sometimes standing just out of reach, waiting for us to recognize glory and say, “Ah!”
God is humble, but humility is not quiescent.
O God-Who-Is-Humble, is it words of adoration you seek? I cannot speak as eloquently as a leaf or sing like water. While I search for words or ritual, you are already beside me, Lover-of-My-Soul.
This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Isaiah reminds us that all that God does, including the sending of a Savior, flows from God’s compassion and steadfast love. The psalmist declares that from the angels in heaven to the works of creation to all the kings and peoples of the earth, all should praise the exalted name of God. The “horn” is a metaphor used elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures that is traditionally interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the Messiah. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Christ fully partakes of our human nature so that he would understand our weakness and fully execute his role as our high priest. Matthew interprets through prophecy the perilous early travels of the young Jesus.
Read Isaiah 63:7-9. How has God’s presence saved you?
Read Psalm 148. How can you praise God for the glory of creation around you in your daily life?
Read Hebrews 2:10-18. How does your relationship with the Child-of-God-Who-Is-Humble help you understand yourself as related to all other human beings?
Read Matthew 2:13-23. How has your church or faith community made the choice to act in the best interest of the institution rather than to follow God’s way of humility?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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