Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Humbling Up

“Sometimes, you have to humble up to win.”
(BSU linebacker Derrell Acrey when asked to step out of a starting role.)
Last Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday and read again the story of the “Triumphal Entry.” We were told that Jesus entered Jerusalem, “humble and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Thus he rode in “triumph.”
What an odd juxtaposition: “triumphant” and “riding on a donkey.” I picture a fully grown man riding on a tiny, shambling donkey, the man’s feet dragging the ground. A ludicrous sight!
Yet the man is described as “righteous” (in the right) and “bringing salvation” (setting things right).
I thought of those times when I have been “in the right” and have ridden in to set things right, but charged in on my high horse, and brought instead ruin and devastation. Oh, for the grace to enter into every conflict “humble and riding on a donkey.”[1]
Paul put it this way: “A servant of the Lord must not be contentious, but gentle to all, able to teach,[2] patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition...” (2 Timothy 2:24,25).

[1] I find this prayer pertinent to church disagreements, but more so for conflicts closer to home!
[2] The word Paul uses here has a curious, ambivalent sense: “teachable” and “able to teach.” The word suggests a tractable mind, an awareness that we who teach must always be learners and that we may not be “in the right” after all.

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