Weekly Sermon Summary from Kelley Dial for September 1st
How do you determine your worth? Do you connect that worth to your earthly possessions and power (real or perceived)? Do you "put on airs" in order to "keep up appearances" and elevate your self-image?
The 12th Sunday after Pentecost brought us a gospel reading from the 14th Chapter of Luke. Jesus tells a parable centered around wedding feast etiquette. He reminds us that it is unwise to assume you rank amongst the most important people in the room, to assume you will be welcomed at the head table and, by doing so, force the host to ask you to give up the seat to someone else. Rather, you should humbly sit in the lowest ranking place available. If the host deems fit, he will gladly extend an invitation and have you move to a more prominent location. Jesus concludes the story by bluntly saying "for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted".
Humble is not a synonym for weak. A humble person is gentle, self-controlled, and unpretentious. He or she does not feel worthless but, instead, has an accurate estimate of their value. C. S. Lewis says "Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less". Humility removes barriers between us and God and frees us to recognize rewards as they come.
When we feel no need to "keep up appearances", when we concern ourselves with helping others, when we truly know that every argument does not have to be won, we open ourselves up to our Creator and are exalted in ways that satisfy deeply and do not end. That is our confidence and our joy.
Thanks be to God.