A New Normal

“…If my people who are called by my name humble themselves…” II Chronicles 7:14a

A New Normal

Renowned German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us in our daily lives.”

Humbleness that is prevalent in our daily living is essentially the witness that the Lord is referring to in the scriptural passage.  As believers we serve a God who is holy and who not only expect and deserves to reign supreme in our lives, but yearns for a relationship with his children that embody trust in him, obedience to his statutes and commands; faith in him, love for him, a contrite heart, and a humble spirit.

The LORD has called his people to “clothe yourselves in humility toward one another…for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  He GIVES grace to the humble.

Imagine life as we know it… without God’s grace; it is utterly unimaginable! It is utterly unimaginable to try to live a fruitful life from moment to moment, day to day, week to week, month to month, and years on end WITHOUT…God’s unmerited favor.

Imagine trying to make it in this world through dangers, toils, and snares and even during a frightening pandemic—all cooped-up in our homes with a roommate named THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN–WITHOUT… GOD’S grace. Imagine trying to negotiate the daily norms of our earthly, yet fragile interactions with each other, WITHOUT… God’s grace, WITHOUT God being on our side.

Just imagine the hopelessness that would burden us to the depths of our soul—without God’s Grace; imagine it especially… when we are wrong and we know we’re wrong.

Not to worry; because the good news is God gives grace to the humble.

It is true that, our God envisions and values humbleness as the standard for all interactions in every sphere of life—humbleness with God and each other, including our enemies. Yes, we are even called to humble ourselves and do good to those who despitefully mistreat us.  But how?  Where does this capacity to be humble at all points come from? Could it be that this capacity to be humble is from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

Perhaps the better question is where is the capacity to be humble taking us? The word tells us that being humble will take us to a consciousness of God’s presence and his dominion in our life.  Humility before God makes it possible for him to lead us in what is right, and to teach us his way.

His way is for us to pray without ceasing but in everything give thanks.

His way is for us to put on the whole armor of God.

His way is for us to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than ourselves. “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled and the those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

His way is for us not to [only] look to our own interest, but to the interest of others.

His way is to keep his promises.  “For the Lord has promised to dwell in the high and holy place, but also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

His way is for us to honor everyone in the family of believers and to always love and respect God.

His way is to actively seek humility and righteousness and to avoid thinking evil.

We are called to live daily as humble people—to live as humble people of the Most High God.

This textual contingency is to humble ourselves.

If: “My people who are called by my name” humble themselves…and love the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their mind, and love their neighbor as their selves

If: My people who are called by my name humble themselves… and do not oppressed the widow or the orphan, or the immigrant, or the refugee, or the poor

If:  My people who are called by my name will humble themselves… and seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God

And If:  My people who are called by my name humble themselves… and let the same mind be in them that was in Christ who humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even to death on the cross

Then, though we are enduring a pandemic without a vaccine, God will hear us in heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land.  Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Lurecie M. Stokes

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