'the vanilla church'
I'm eager to share the passage (below) from a book I've just read, but first I must explain about the vanilla and chocolate churches of Westby, WI. There are several Lutheran churches in town, but this blond 'vanilla' one is part of a larger congregation made up of this church in town and its sister church, 'the chocolate church' out in the country (see photo below.)
Okay, to set you up for the passage from the book, the author is talking about Roman times, although the practice of self-promotion, tooting one's own horn, is alive and well today.
"It was good to be king. The way of the hero exalted many wonderful qualities: courage and excellence and persistence, overcoming obstacles, self-discipline, and self-mastery. But humility was not an admired quality. It was not considered desirable. What was desirable was greatness.
"Historian Robin Lane Fox wrote, 'Among pagan authors, humility had almost never been a term of commendation. It belonged with ignoble and abject characters...The humble belonged with the abject, the mean, the unworthy.'
"But another way was emerging.
"A poor rabbi, who never wrote, The Deeds of the Divine Carpenter, said to his friends, 'You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.'
"No Roman would have been offended by this observation of Jesus. The whole point of making it to the top of the pecking order was to peck. But what Jesus said next would offend:
"'Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'
"This is what might be called 'the way of the saint.'"
From Who is This Man? by John Ortberg
Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church
'the chocolate church'
"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.
"Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that
JESUS IS LORD
to the glory of God the Father."
Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!
Linking to InSPIREd Sundayand Roses of Inspiration