We feel the sun; we see the moon, rain clouds, storm clouds, ice, snow, birds, great whales, and waves. We hear the sound of cicadas, thunder, and gulls. We look up at mountains, and our spirits turn outward. Our footprints are left in the sand-which-once-was-stone, but only for a time. We are part of the mathematics and the music. Both observer and participant, we are always impacted and impactful. God is humble.
To know God is to become increasingly aware of God’s humility. To love God is to become increasingly aware of the love of God. That awareness seems to occur concurrently with the humility and love that God develops within us. God’s humility confronts us; God’s love surprises us. We are not asked to love without the love of God, nor are we urged to humility without the humility of God. Like the sheepherders in Bethlehem, we are overwhelmed by the glory of God. God is humble.
Alma Snell, a member of the Crow Nation (tribe) of Montana, had a profound spiritual presence to her daily life. She would suddenly and quietly say, aho, a word to express thanks and joy in the Crow language. It may have been in response to the sound of a bird or recognition of the presence of God. It was a vocal response to the spiritual moment of God-and-Alma. It was a delighted, grateful, you-are-here. Aho was enough and everything. That one simple word was like touching hands with God. There was not a moment in any day that Alma was inaccessible to God. Delighting in the creation around her, she lived the rhythms of the day as prayer. She listened for the heart of God. That was her praise.
Humility, Love, Faithfulness, Glory, Delight. My soul praises you, Still astounded Still awed.
This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Isaiah reminds us that all that God does, including the sending of a Savior, flows from God’s compassion and steadfast love. The psalmist declares that from the angels in heaven to the works of creation to all the kings and peoples of the earth, all should praise the exalted name of God. The “horn” is a metaphor used elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures that is traditionally interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the Messiah. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Christ fully partakes of our human nature so that he would understand our weakness and fully execute his role as our high priest. Matthew interprets through prophecy the perilous early travels of the young Jesus.
Read Isaiah 63:7-9. How has God’s presence saved you?
Read Psalm 148. How can you praise God for the glory of creation around you in your daily life?
Read Hebrews 2:10-18. How does your relationship with the Child-of-God-Who-Is-Humble help you understand yourself as related to all other human beings?
Read Matthew 2:13-23. How has your church or faith community made the choice to act in the best interest of the institution rather than to follow God’s way of humility?
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