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2.03.2007    |    The triumph of humility
Although it's been a while since I considered myself Roman Catholic, some things about that faith, both good, and not so good, linger. One of the good things is the liturgical calendar, with its varied events, great, and small, observed by the Christian church.

Yesterday, February 2nd was the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, or, in the Anglican tradition, Candlemas. It's not the sort of thing you might find mentioned in a Baptist church; we're not big on the liturgical calendar, you might say. But there is a mighty lesson in the Presentation, and the one-line summary might be: the triumph of humility.

This is yet another of those "stumbling blocks" for those who expect, nay, demand, that their kings be mighty in appearance. That their messiah be clothed in the finest robes, head annointed with the most expensive oils, live in the most lavish palaces, and be served by legions of adoring disciples.

The reality is, of course, just the opposite. Jesus of Nazareth, fully God, chose to be born in the most humble of circumstances, to parents he knew would, in humility, nurture him as an infant. Not a lot of finery, just the poverty of a Jewish family living under brutal Roman occupation.

This is the lesson, for any Christians who believe that it is pomp and circumstance, together with the finest things that money can buy on this earth, that would mark our spiritual ruler. To God go all glory, because, in the person of Jesus, He knew us in our fallen, poorest form.

A contradiction? Yes. And, a mystery. But it should ever remind us, whenever we start to believe that we've got all the answers, or that we, somehow, rule the world with our earthly powers. We don't. He does.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.