Monday, November 2, 2015

HUMILITY and compassion

MARK 12:38-40
As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets!They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
I too like my robe.
It's my doctoral preaching robe--
the one with red pipping
around the velvet stripes.
It reminds me
of the ones worn
by many of my mentors.

Why do I wear the robe?
Because I'm proud of my doctoral studies?
As a symbol of my office as minister?
To gain respect from others?
Maybe a little...
But mostly I wear the robe
to cover up
an act of humility
so that it's not what
I'm wearing that matters
but the Word of God that I proclaim.

your warning is not
just about robes is it.
There are so many things we put on
to seem important:
the car we drive,
the title on our resume,
the names we drop,
the shirts we wear
from our exotic vacations,
the labels on our clothes,
the names of our neighborhoods...
All symbols of how we want to be perceived.
Seeking respect,
the best seats,
the places of honor.

But, Lord,
you show us a different way.
You dress in compassion.
Instead of dropping names,
you drop to your knees to serve.
You live among the poor.
Your friends are the least of these.
Not symbols,
but the reality
of your kingdom come
your willing being done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Teach us to put away our symbols of success
and take up your cross.
Help us commit to loving you
and loving others.
Working together to make a difference
in the lives of the people who surround us.

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