(In The Life Of The Church)
What Kind of Humility
What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:4
There are some themes that, no matter how long I preach, I just can’t figure how to communicate. At the top of that list would be humility. Part of that comes from the thing itself. What is humility? And if it is being embodied, how will you see it? How do you talk about it?
Every once in a while I’ll catch a quote, or connect a moment with an allusive idea, or see a movie clip that deepens my understanding. The best thing I’ve heard on humility is something you’ve likely heard. CS Lewis said that, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
For the longest time the image in my head of humility had to do with a deferential meek person who never inserted himself into situations. If that temperament is reflective of anxiety on the inside of that person, that’s likely coming from the latter part of Lewis’s definition. But a humble person could in fact be boisterous, loud, engaged, and I think curious. They could even be assertive.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were eating lunch with a friend or new acquaintance, and it’s life giving? And the reason it’s life giving is because the conversation was effortless and sincere. And after reflecting on the conversation you realize that you answered questions the whole time and were given the opportunity to talk about your passions and dreams. And then you realize that you did most of the talking and the other person did most of the listening. I think that might be a form of humility.
I have a friend who is better at that than anyone I've ever met. At some point our stint of living in the same city came to an end. So some other friends and I said goodbye to this humble friend. As part of our farewell ceremony we all named one thing we loved about our humble friend. And my smart friend quoted Chesterton to my humble friend and said, “you make people feel large in your presence.”
That’s what my humble friend does. He takes interest in other people. He rarely directs the conversation back to himself and if he does it’s usually in a self-deprecatory manner.
I’ve thought about that image and it seems to me to be at the center of the Christian life. We are a people who are made to be curious about and love God, others and the world around us.
Psalm 8 is my absolute favorite Psalm. It is full of doxology, creation theology, anthropology and if Richard Hays is right, Christology. At the center of this Psalm, which has cosmic worship at the heart of it, is a statement on humility. It comes on the heals of stargazing ... “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you should care for them?” I feel like that’s how my friend lives his life, gazing at people and the world around him with a glad and sincere heart that celebrates his place in it. He just doesn’t seem to have the time to think about himself.
How about you? What or who do you spend most of your time thinking about?
It's fitting that I find myself writing this as we approach Pentecost. For the last few months I have been addressing the fact that UBC has a space issue, mostly related to serving our children. In the January and March town hall meetings I addressed this briefly, and a few weeks ago I asked you all to be in prayer about this issue.
On Monday night in our finance team meeting, we talked about investigating the cost of some solutions and potentially doing a capital campaign. Let me be clear, this could mean spending money on a solution (i.e. a building for kids, office space across the street) and money spent is a theological decision and reflection of the church's values. So that is where you come in.
1. We'd like to assemble a discernment committee so that everyone has a chance to give input into this moment.
2. We'd like to assemble a discernment committee so that we can move to putting together a solution that reflects the thoughts and wisdom of a group.
So if you feel that this is something you might be called to please think about the following things.
1. Am I willing to give a significant amount of time to help with this? I have not set meeting times, but I would imagine 1 or 2 a month for four months. (could be more).
2. Am I willing to listen and value opinions different than my own?
3. Am I willing to be a point person and talk with and listen to people who are not on the committee who would like to give input?
4. Am I ok if I don't get picked to be on the committee? If we have a large number people that would like to serve in this role, we won't be able to take everyone. Are you willing to trust that the committee is a representation of the diversity at UBC including me?
We Need Your Help
UBC has a few small home improvement type projects that we need to do and could probably get done in a morning work day. Projects include:
- Fixing the bamboo fence in the back
- Laying new vinyl flooring in the children's rooms
- Hauling furniture to the dump
If this is a skill set you have or even if you just have an eager heart and would like to help, we will take it. Please email email@example.com.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky and Juliet
Coffee Makers: Sagers
Mug Cleaners: Cooleys
Money Counter: Josh McCormick
- Sunday Sermon Text: John 16:12-15
- Summer Sunday School: Breakfast Club! Come join us for a shared breakfast/potluck and fellowship in the Lord followed by Liturgy. This begins Sunday, June 5.
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UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
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If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
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