By Brooke Holt
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” The Collect for Palm Sunday, Book of Common Prayer
“It is all about you!” A Brighthouse commercial from years ago declared this message as it showed a man sitting in his recliner. He had control of his life (or at least his TV) from that chair. He must be the king of the world! Doesn’t humankind long for such affirmation and adoration?
This does not depict the way of Jesus. Jesus, though fully God, left the glory and joy of his heavenly home. He relinquished his divine glory to become a man, and not just a man but a servant (see Philippians 2:5-7). Instead of seeking his temporal happiness and contentment, Jesus humbled himself to the utmost extreme. If Jesus, the Son of God, could live in such humility, why are we so self-consumed?
The season of Lent calls us to take on this humility of Christ. Christians do this through the practice of fasting – from social media, food, television, shopping, etc. We also exercise the spiritual discipline of taking on new behaviors and practices – service, Bible reading, prayer, giving. These disciplines are not the end in and of themselves. Instead, they provide a way of dying to self and embracing the humility of Christ.
As we approach the end of this Lenten season, the Collect prays that we would follow the example of Jesus, live in humility, and walk the way of Calvary with him. While not an easy road, the Collect reminds us, it is the way to resurrection. To embrace the joy of Easter day, you and I must also embrace the travail of the cross.
If this sounds hard, read the first line of the prayer again. God’s tender love led him to send his Son to dwell among us. He longs for you to live in his love and in his Son’s resurrected life. The humble road to Calvary is the means to you fully receiving his love and gifts of forgiveness, salvation, and resurrection.
The gifts of the Lord far surpass the claims of this world. Choose the joys of eternal life with the Father, and then you will also enjoy his gifts for today.
How are you doing with the call to follow Jesus in the way of humility? Are there any spiritual disciplines you may take on for this last week of Lent to lead you deeper into this call? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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