As the Sundays in Advent proceed at their usual breakneck pace, I continue to think about lessons of the Advent story that I can practice. First we looked at empathy and then we looked at miracles. Today I am thinking about humility.
Do I really need to point out the humble circumstances of Jesus’ birth? It occurred in a barn after all, surrounded by animals. That is humble even by rather poor standards of the day. The humbleness of the situation is only accentuated by the stories of shepherd and angels and wise men and King Herod who thought such a humble birth was a threat to his vaunted position. God become man first appeared to our eyes in the muck and filth of a building meant to house beasts of burden and yet the proudest and highest of the time considered such a birth of note. Never has anyone higher found themselves in lower circumstances. It does not get more humble. (Save for the cross.)
I can think of no time when the need for humility has been more apparent in our nation. Roy Moore’s defeat ties with tax reform as the biggest story of the week and Moore’s behavior is the least humble I have witnessed from a public figure claiming faith in a very long time. From his staying in the race when things turned so south to his continuing claims it’s not over, the man simply cannot take a hint that he needs to get out of the spotlight. I would go so far as to say that the self-righteousness, the braggadocio and the lack of humility we have seen from Roy Moore is as unChristian in nature as the pro-choice stance of his opponent. Worst of all this lack of humility in the public eye has left Christianity generally with a black eye and left the forces for the better in the Senate in a weaker position than they were. Moore’s self-righteousness comes at a very high and very practical cost.