One of my favorite childhood memories involves metal folding chairs. Sometimes they were arranged in rows, and sometimes in a circle. The chairs were at church. We attended a small church (we knew every single person at Sunday service). The chairs in rows, of course, were in the sanctuary, which was the living room of a house which we used for services. The Wednesday evening program for adults was a prayer meeting so the chairs were arranged in a circle. The program consisted of people on their knees in front of the metal chairs, praying together. I have a vivid memory of seeing the men of the church praying.
This all seems so humble to me now; the small church, the family men on their knees, the plain chairs. In the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 Jesus says, Blessed are the poor in spirit and the meek. But I never pray to be meek, poor in spirit. I don’t pray to be humble. Too often I want what the world wants; status, to stand out. In contrast, Paul says, in this chapter, “don’t think you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool-that’s the path to true wisdom.” (v. 18). I think the key here is to be God’s, to belong to God and not care what that looks like to other people.
Humility is something I will have to think about. It involves desiring to serve other people, to reach out to all kinds of people, I know that. My eye is often caught by the shiny things, whether they are material goods or people I’d put on a pedestal. But here Paul is saying , God is not fooled by shiny. I will try to see the world through God’s eyes. Each Sunday in church, we start the week on our knees. That’s a good beginning.