As we reflect on this lifestyle celebration, we invite you to explore some of our top picks from media and resources that deal with the topic of humility.
VINCE L. BANTU takes us on a journey of humility as he crates a paradigm shift for the Western Christian’s understanding of the Gospel and missiology. In A Multitude of All Peoples, Bantu reveals an alternate narrative to that of Christianity as a product of the Western white world. Bantu focuses on the development of diverse expressions of Christianity across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He sheds light on the importance of contextualization and need for indigenous leadership in effective Christian mission and he outlines lessons for intercultural communication of the Gospel. The healing of wounds of racism and imperialism that continue to plague much of society worldwide will be possible only with renewed attention to the marginalized voices of the historic and current global church.
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WERE YOU THERE This American spiritual originally published in 1899 went on to become the first spiritual to be included in a major hymnal in 1940 (Episcopal Church). According to Civil Rights leader Howard Thurman in his autobiography, “Were you There (When They Crucified My Lord)” was one of Ghandi’s favorites. The lyrics depict the events of Jesus’ crucifixion, and the repeated line “O sometimes it causes me to tremble!” carries the sense of a humble posture of witness to what Christ chose to undergo for our sake.
We recommend Johnny Cash’s live performance in 1962 and Marion Williams’ gospel rendition of the hymn; click on the images to watch the videos.
What Our Lord Saw from the Cross (Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix)
By: Jacques (James) Joseph Tissot
Reflection by Clint Baldwin, WMF International Executive Director
It is in humility that the God of the universe allowed Himself to be made a public spectacle of humiliation. Through the intimate solidarity that was accomplished through this ultimate sacrifice, willfully choosing in vulnerability and weakness to bear the burden of the suffering of humanity at its worst, Jesus turned humiliation into triumph. However, in this picture Tissot does not let us move to triumph. Here, in this portrayal, we sit with humiliation and perhaps find our way to humility.
Here, we as Christ, see all looking on with pity, or scorn, or grief…but none gaze in admiration at the preeminent pinnacle moment, the crescendo, the climactic culmination of God’s plan of redemption with admiration and honor and celebration.
In the deepest humility, the God of everything offers redemption for all without anyone even noticing…except perhaps, at some embryonic level, a co-crucified thief and a Roman centurion.
As you reflect on this painting, how might you take encouragement in your hardships as you seek to faithfully walk in the crucified footsteps of our Lord? How might this painting better prepare you for a time when out of service to God you find yourself in a situation that is meant to be one of degradation and all gaze upon you with what appears to be anything but admiring recognition of good deeds done? How might you in humility, in faith believing that the Lord will eventually turn humiliation into triumph, also say, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
For accompaniment, read: Philippians 2 & Luke 23:26-49