Somehow, the word ambush seems to lessen my culpability. It may have snuck up on me, but I had an attack of hubris none the less. An archaic word, hubris describes one who is prideful or self-confident to a fault. C.S. Lewis, in his seminal book Mere Christianity, described hubris as an “anti-God state.” We tend to worship ourselves rather than God. Our favorite song becomes, “Jesus loves me, more than you; ‘cause of all the good I do.”
So, about the ambush. Margaret Mayes has been leading a study of the book, If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk; Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans, by Jon Pavlovitz. She was kind enough to give me a copy of this book, which I have begun to read. Pretty quickly out of the gate, the author argues that Jesus left us with one job, to love others. And, we have failed miserably.
He talks about “the other guy” as “loveless, Jesus-less Christianity” that has taken a foothold in the modern church. As I read those words, the ambush occurred. I found myself pridefully declaring my happiness at not being like those people. I became the Pharisee Jesus spoke of in Luke 18: 10. Boy, can I spot the speck in your eye. Just don’t point out the log in mine.
What if we actually assumed our primary task as followers of Jesus? What would it look like if love became our guiding principle? What would it look like if it became mine? Not just directed at those who look, think, and act like me, but those who are quite different?
On the one hand, I’m sorry I was such easy pickings for hubris. On the other hand, I’ve been shown that I have a lot of work to do. My prayer, in this post Pentecost season, is that the Holy Spirit will begin to actually change me into the person God envisions me to be, instead of merely validating me as I am.. I pray that I may become part of the solution rather than part of the problem masquerading as a solution. May God make it so.
Annual Conference 2022 ended without issue. We took five backpacks for the Festival of Sharing. Great job. Jill Fields had tremendous success in fundraising through the sale of prayer beads. I was appointed as your Pastor for another year. All in all, a very good Conference.
Sunday is Father’s day. Our text will be Psalm 29. I will offer an ode to fathers, but remind us of the one true Father in our lives. Yep, baggage and all….
See you Sunday,
To respond directly to Pastor Paul, email him at email@example.com, or contact him at 816-724-0080