Humility and True Understanding

Come back with me to the tenth century BC and listen to the inaugural prayer of a new king: “I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” (Kings 3:7) What: ”King Solomon, you need to hire a speech writer: Get a PR MAN! What a miserable way to start your reign!

This is what you need to say: “You think you were happy with the old regime? You ain’t seen ‘nothing’ yet! Stand back, folks! Utopia has begun!” Build confidence, Solomon! Never launch off the pad with an empty tank!

Solomon would not have fallen for that advice. He was overwhelmed by the responsibility of his office. He likened himself to a toddler who could barely make it through the door. Was he really all that ignorant and inept? I doubt it. Rather, he had a healthy dose of humility and a true understanding of the magnitude of his challenge.

Theresa of Avila is said to have remarked, “Humility must always be doing its work like a bee making honey in the hive: without humility, all will be lost.” Not bad advice for present day politicians and CEOs or, for that matter, any of us facing a challenging new task. Solomon's prayer was not a weak, pitiful whining, but a frank appraisal of the overwhelming task before him. That is excellent advice for present-day government leaders and, it is good counsel for all of us as well.



Love is Required

At Christmas time, it is difficult to think of the child Jesus as anything but “perfect” in every way—complete understanding of the structure of the universe, the laws of nature and the social customs of his day. The scripture gives us a more normal picture of Jesus’ growing years. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Jesus, like all normal human beings “had some growing up to do.” In the preceding verse, it says that Jesus was “obedient to his parents.” We don’t often think of Jesus as needing correction as far as behavior or habits are concerned. This should give us something to think about in the raising of our own children. If the young child Jesus needed correcting, patience and understanding, how much more our own offspring!

As we think about the baby Jesus at this time of year, we need to also remember the patience, understanding and love required of all parents all through the year, every year!


Sainthood Takes Time

Understandably, expectations are high when one joins a church for the first time. After all, those in the church are “saints of God—true believers-born again Christians” and the like.


Conflict Management

We have been talking about some of the subjects which may be neglected or ignored in seminary curriculum.  There is a great deal of time, for example, spent on "Homiletics,"or the art of preaching.  


Spiritual Hospital

This month I will see the 63rd anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry.  After one has completed college and seminary, a committee composed of clergy and laity determines that, because of one's training and particular talents, he or she is suited to assume the pastoral leadership of a church of churches.  

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