Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm/Passion Sunday: Not giving up on humility

Today is Palm Sunday. That's the one where Jesus rides the donkey and everyone is excited and waves branches and sings songs.

It's also Passion Sunday. That's the one where Jesus dies.

It's like rapid cycling bipolar gets its own liturgical feast.

Anyway. That's not exactly what this post is about.

This post is about humility.

It's about how the lectionary readings for today, both Isaiah and Paul, stressed giving of oneself, emptying oneself. Divesting oneself of power and of violence.

It's about how, 33 years ago, Archbishop Oscar Romero was gunned down while celebrating the Eucharist. After pleading with his fellow countrymen, including the government, to stop the killing. After writing to the U.S. pleading the government to stop sending weapons to El Salvador.

This is Romero who was selected as Archbishop as a conservative voice, a counter to the liberation theology that argued that the gospel meant siding with the subversives. But Romero humbled himself. Listened to the voices of the poor. And knew that he had to stand for justice.

This post is about how a man named Gordon Cosby, who could have been the head of a huge national church if he wanted, but instead planted small churches called to social justice and mission in their particular places in Washington, DC. It's about how this man, who died this week at the age of 95, eschewed the national spotlight to instead focus on the hurting and the suffering that he saw right at his feet. This is a man whose model of doing church continues to be cutting edge to this day and, as far as I can tell, he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. (The Church of the Savior wiki doesn't mention his name). I first heard about Cosby when I was taking a nonviolence training at the Servant Leadership School, a ministry of Cosby's Church of the Savior. A ministry of self-giving. Of self-sacrifice. Of love.

This post is about how it's time for me to make some decisions about my life. And about how my head is clouded with questions and with doubts and with mixed motives. And about how the question I am finding myself asking is, "What is the humble choice?"

Today, on Palm Sunday, on Passion Sunday, I am not giving up on humility.

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