As I’ve been composing blog posts for Holy Week I have found myself continually challenged by entering into the conversation. I realize that I preach every Sunday and that I practically live in the middle of the conversations people have around the spiritual matters in their lives. Often the words I say on Sunday morning or at a Bible study have a major impact in the lives of a few individuals, but those words are transitory and momentary. The words that I say are often sacred but they live in one sacred moment.
The words that I type are far different. These words that I am typing right now will likely be accessible for the rest of my lifetime. There is a possibility that these words may exist in some form or another for the rest of human existence in this mortal coil on either backup drives or backup clouds. As some have said, nothing on the internet is truly ever deleted.
This concept gives me pause. Who am I to enter into these conversations? What place do I have at the table? Do I really believe these words will have an effect on the future? What’s more, shouldn’t the work of a preacher by necessity be something that is transitory, personal, and passing? Where is my humility?
It gives me pause, but I am not going to stop writing and I am not going to stop sharing. I will admit that I clearly am a person that occasionally needs a dose of humble pie. Okay, occasionally I need two doses. I do not assume that I am going to say something profound and life-changing, but I do know that I will say things that are honest and true to the best of my ability. What am I bringing to the conversation? I am bringing my heart and my soul–two of the most sacred things that I possess.
It is not humility to assume that you are worthless as a person. One beautiful thing about Holy Week is that it is a story about Jesus going towards the cross, death, and resurrection because Jesus cares about people like you and me. To assume you are worthless is effectively to say that Jesus paid too much for you out of love. I do not believe Jesus thinks that for a moment. I think Jesus loves you.
Humility might be better described as having perspective. You might make mistakes and it is a humble act to admit to them in an attempt to change. You might struggle with your identity as a person and struggle with depression. Humility might mean owning your struggle and going to a doctor.
Humility might also be seeing that through all of the struggles you go through, God still has a love for you. If we hold these treasures in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7), there is something sacred about taking that treasure and offering it back to God. God desires to take you in both heart and soul (Luke 13:34), offers to wash you from being red as scarlet to being as clean and fresh as newly fallen snow (Isaiah 1:18), and has this desire for all of humanity (John 3:16-17).
In the end, that is what I am trying to do through this blog. I am trying to offer my heart and my soul. I may not be able to stand with the giants like Wesley, Luther, Calvin, Tillich, Bonhoeffer, Thurman, King, Jr., Nouwen, or Rauschenbusch, but I can offer what I have been given back to God and my community. I hope that it is a blessing.