Monday, July 18, 2016
Exalt God, not yourselves
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Behold, there is someone so strong and looking over us always. In our vast web of life this is something we all need to be aware of. God always has us on mind and is always mindful of us. But we would also wonder as to why we need to always glorify God as God is all knowing. Glorification of God is not for God to feel that God has several followers and thereby boost God’s ego. Rather it is helping us and not helping God. When we look up we humble ourselves accepting that we are small and we always need to listen to a voice which is within us and always seeks to talk with us.
Jesus carefully uses his words and says “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” We are always trying to get the best seat. It is either on stage or even when we are not on stage we are eyeing the stage. In all ways it suggests that we are not prepared to serve. Not everyone is called to lead unless he or she wants. Sometimes we are thrust into leadership roles. A leader is someone who will show his or her flock how to serve. Jesus shows this to his disciples. He is an accepted leader because he preaches and practices servitude.
Jesus was not consumed of his own world and in his own thoughts. He was willing to accept someone above him because otherwise he could never serve. In John 4:21-24 we read “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Jesus is making a big claim to the woman when he says that salvation is from the Jews. This perhaps is the human in Jesus speaking, forgetting about reality and being limited to his own intellect. But in a moment Jesus corrects himself and says that there will be a time when people worship in spirit and truth.
This should be our take away from the passage. The seat or the exaltation is not important. What is important is glorifying God because glorification is acceptance of not our intellect but the spirit of the Lord. May we be guided by God, son and the Holy Spirit to understand this core element of spirituality. Amen