Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Give it Up: Superiority

Anyone can become a pastor these days. Anyone can buy an old building, invite some friends, play some music, and have a church. Anyone can preach as all one needs is an audience.  Anyone can start a church with no training or education. But they can’t be a real pastor. I mean I’m a real pastor. I hold a Masters of Divinity Degree from a distinguished reputable institution of higher education. I have studied both Hebrew and Greek in order to interrupt more clearly the ancient scriptures.  I have completed the ordination processes and have reached the highest credentials one can achieve by being ordained by a denomination. Certainly I am a real pastor and the others are not.  I mean they are cute with their little churches and videos but I am the real deal.  Shamefully this was my attitude until I met a group of Orphans in a dilapidated building in the slums of Honduras.  It was being accepted by a group of abandoned children that taught me a valuable lesson about superiority. They did not care what degrees I had, how many people I preach to each week, if I was ordained or that I was American. They just needed to be loved, held, nurtured, played with, accepted and shown the love, mercy and grace of Jesus.  They were totally oblivious to my accomplishments, achievements, and accolades.  All they cared about was I was one person who showed up when everyone else had abandoned them. It was at that moment  I realized before this encounter that I had become a modern day Pharisees. I had become what opposed and questioned Jesus’ ministry and forgotten to live like Jesus. The Pharisee opposed Jesus because they thought they were superior to his ragamuffin group of followers or his unorthodox method of ministry.

When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus we find that Jesus broke all social conventions. Jesus did not fit society’s expectations of a Holy man. He dined with sinners and tax collectors. He spoke to a Samaritan woman alone at a well. He healed on the Sabbath. When confronted by the educated ordained religious leaders, Jesus one each debate with grace, ease, and authority. Instead of a position of superiority, Jesus brought a grace and freedom knowing that in humility we will hear and respond. When the religious leaders were too busy or important to hear or respond to the needs of the people, there was Jesus. Rolling up his garment, bending down, and washing feet serving those who needed him the most. God doesn’t care about the artificial lines we draw to make ourselves feel superior to others.  As I learned, if we are able to let go of our status symbols and judgmental attitude e too can hear Jesus’ call more clearly and respond more faithfully.  And that is what makes a real pastor and follower of Jesus. During this season of Lent, join us as we all learn to give up some of our superior attitude and learn some humility in order to spread the love of Jesus. 
Just Love Somebody

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