This is the text of my “Minister’s Message” which I wrote for inclusion in the May newsletter of The Lakes Parish
I have been thinking about the topic of humility recently and what it means to say that Jesus humbled himself to come to Earth and be our saviour. If Jesus chose to be humble then it must be a good thing and something we should be doing as followers of him. Yet as a disciple of Jesus and a participant in the Great Commission I wonder how humility is compatible with evangelism.
Paul says variously in his letters that Jesus chose humble obedience as the way of ministry (Philippians 2:7-8), and that God has not called Christians to a life of timidity but rather to a life of power (2 Timothy 1:7). While these may seem contradictory, or at least counter-productive, they are of course complimentary texts. God has called us to be assertive in life and ministry. We are to remember that we were each created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) as the pinnacle of created beings (Psalm 8:5) subject only to God. We were not made to be timid or anxious, that is not in our design nor is it within God’s plan for humankind. At the same time, we are not to be arrogant or lordly but are to serve our world as stewards (Genesis 2:15), in the way that Christ served the world as redeemer and defender (Ephesians 5:25). We who know who we are, each a beloved daughter-son of God called to a specific task in declaring the news of God’s approaching reign. We live with confidence as examples of what the Kingdom of God looks like in practice. We are not arrogant or superior, since Christ who truly is king never acted like that, but we do not act like doormats or peasants in the world because that is not who we are.
To be humble is to live according to who you know yourself to be. We are neither haughty nor timid, rather we are confident and assured. As royal priests and holy princes (or -esses) we have both a mission and an identity of belonging. My prayer throughout May is that you will live out your calling in poise and wonder, knowing that God has called even you, while acting with assurance that this is indeed the truth.