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The Path of Humility

  • April 14, 2019
  • 08:00 AM

Sermon for 14 April 2019 (Palm Sunday Year C)

Offered by Nathan Ferrell at The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary

Texts:             Philippians 2:3-11, Luke 22:14 – 23:56

Title:               The Path of Humility

“In humility regard others as better than yourselves…Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who…being found in human form, humbled himself… even to death on a cross” (Philippians 2:3, 5, 7,8).

The path of humility. This is it, my friends. This walk through Holy Week. It begins today. It is the path of humility.

And we are invited to walk this path together.

But remember: no other person can humble you. No experience in your life can humble you. Only you can choose to humble yourself. Only Jesus could choose to humble himself.

Why is this? Because humility is a state of mind. It is an attitude. It is a different way of seeing the world that we can choose to adopt as our own.

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

Let it be – in you. Let this mind of Christ plant itself in the garden of your mind, and let it grow there. Water it and feed it, and watch it grow.

And what is this mind of Christ? It is humility.

“In humility regard others as better than yourselves.” This may perhaps be the best definition possible. To regard others as better than yourself.

And yet, scholars and theologians speak about the humility of God. The humility of God. Think about this for a moment.

The mind of Christ, choosing to regard others as better, as more worthy, as more deserving.

“Let each of you look NOT to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

The mind of Christ means to work for the interests of others. For the well-being of others.

“He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” (Phil. 2.7).

The truth is that he was always emptying himself. This passion, this final episode, was just the conclusion of his life-long process of emptying himself. Of giving himself away for others. “I am among you as one who serves.”

There IS a reward for walking the path of humility. That is not the reason to choose it. It is simply the right way to be, the surest path to freedom, the way to do the most good during these brief lives of ours.

But there IS a reward. We know the end of this chapter, we know what waits at the end of Holy Week.

“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.”

Jesus shows us the path of humility. And he shows us the blessing that awaits those who choose to walk this way.

We have to wait for that. We are not there yet. Now is the time to walk the path of humility together. This week, this Holy Week, “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

Let it be  – in you. Come, my friends, let us walk this path together.

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