Each morning prayer during my staycation, I whisper Jesus’ words,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Today, I’m struck by “for I am gentle and humble in heart..”
That’s the kind of person I’m drawn to, a person gentle and humble in heart. I yearn for more people in my life with these exemplary qualities. What about you?
The early Christians were known as living The Way referred to in the Book of Acts– the way of truth and following the way of Jesus. The Way included caring for the poor, loving those in need, humbling themselves before God, caring for one another, and laying down their lives for their friends. Early writings from Tertullian (AD 197), a North African Scholar, reveals a pagan observation about early Jesus followers, “See how they love one another”.
I have found a large, growing community of beautiful people today who work toward living the The Way. Unlike some televangelists, their good works are overlooked by mainstream media because they’re not sensational enough. They’re too busy helping the poor, visiting the sick, those in prison, and not drawing attention to themselves. They’re gentle and humble.
Jesus says it’s the humble who will inherit the earth. Many are out on mission fields in the world, yet some sit on porches right here in our country waving to their neighbors, inviting them over for a lemonade and front yard barbecues. The smell of summer shish kabobs lures isolated neighbors to peek out from behind dark curtains. Soon some are joining the party, bringing over a dish, joining in a pot luck. Yards fill with little kids running through sprinklers, eating watermelon from their garden. They’re concerned how the neighborhood kids are doing, listening closely for a need they can fill. They go into projects in inner cities, helping kids without stable homes with homework. They pay for their health insurance. They help elderly neighbors with plumbing, bringing them meals, driving them where they need to go. These are the kind hearted, holy people out there. We need more of these humble ones. They’re following the golden thread, the way of goodness, justice, mercy, kindness, and love.
They abide in God’s grace. From this quiet revolution, they bring heaven to earth.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. -Matthew 23:12
It’s a Golden Rule kind of living: In everything, do unto others what would have them do unto you.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?”
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Saint Paul speaks to the Thessalonians, “we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”
I long for such people in my life, don’t you? Humble, hospitable, gentle, giving, who help glue together parts of our lives when it’s fraying at the seams, those with deep compassion, those who weep with us when we mourn, who stand by our side, those we can count on.
I long to be that kind of person, too.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”…
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” -John 13
This scripture never ceases to stir the yearning for sharing the love our world so needs. Join me in being more humble and gentle in heart today!
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bear with one another in love.“ Ephesians 4:2
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