September 1, 2019: Humble Thyself

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

As I reflect on this passage, I am reminded of what it is like to be “put in your place,” so to speak. There are times when we think we are more important than we really are and act in such a way that others begin to dislike our actions. Then somewhere along the way we are “put in our place.” This is a very uncomfortable situation when it happens. In the long run, it is a good development.

As Jesus talks to the people at the dinner, he is trying to prevent them from that uncomfortable situation. He is trying to give them advice. He speaks of being “humble” and “putting others before themselves.” He speaks to us through this passage. Jesus loves us and wants the very best for us.

The song “Humbly Thyself” is a good reminder of this. We sing this song at campfire frequently. The lyrics say, “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up, higher and higher” (James 4:10 KJV, “higher and higher” added). I have done mission work and have experienced the blessings of helping the poor, hungry, crippled, blind, and lame. Putting others before our-selves is the most profound way we can show God’s love to them.

Some of us are the poor, hungry, crippled, blind, and lame. To be shown the love of God in this way too can be a humbling experience! To accept help from others is sometimes hard to do. If that is you, doesn’t it feel good to be taken care of when you need it most?

I think that Jesus is trying to remind us that we are all children of God and loved equally by him. Humble yourself, and he will lift you higher and higher.

Scarlett Dowdy, program manager, Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center
Laurel Springs, North Carolina