Sunday, August 28, 2022
Challenging Truth: The Humble Will Be Exalted, the Exalted Humbled
Even the world recognizes that humility is a virtue and swollen pride is not. Nonetheless the world doesn’t live according to that truth. And as sinners, we’re not always so good at it, either. Therefore we need these words of God repeated.
In our Old Testament Lesson is a simple proverb to the point: “Do not honor yourself in a king’s presence. Do not stand in a place reserved for great people, because it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than for you to be humiliated before a ruler.”
James elaborates on this truth in our Epistle Lesson. It’s one thing to think of yourself as humble in the abstract. It’s quite another thing to honor others more highly than yourself when they’re the kind of people the world looks down on. “Listen, my dear brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom, which he promised to those who love him? 6But you dishonored the poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you, and don’t they drag you into court? 7Aren’t they the ones who blaspheme the noble name that was pronounced over you? 8However, if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show favoritism, you are committing a sin, since you are convicted by this law as transgressors.” Pride is called one of “the seven deadly sins” for a reason. Many sins are easy to detect, especially in others, but pride when veiled in favoritism is harder to see—especially in yourself. It’s against that background that James reminds us, “whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point has become guilty of breaking all of it.” Ouch! Thank God for the good news that salvation was earned for us by Jesus!
Our Gospel Lesson relates how Jesus was invited to the house of a rich man, where everyone was scrambling for the seat of honor. Jesus tells them all “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Let us humble ourselves before God, that He may lift us up and exalt us with all the saints on the day of judgment!
Our sermon will be based on the Gospel lesson. Our theme: “Walk Humbly with Your God”
This Week’s Lessons: