Wednesday, September 23, 2015

empty and pour

Caz’s sermon this morning was so important. In the series on happiness, Caz is talking about how if we seek happiness we will not find it. But if we search for meaning, we will find joy. I believe a couple of weeks ago he said that research showed that the parenting years left parents with a low level of happiness but a greater sense of meaning. This is clearly true for parenting, and also probably similar caring roles: teaching, nursing, ministry.
            Caz focused on the first few verses in Philippians 2, which was an invocation to be humble. I found it interesting what Caz shared about the Roman culture, and how it was focused on shame versus honor.   The focus was on how people were viewed by others. So for Paul to tell the Philippians to humble themselves was really drastic. Maybe today he would tell us to post unflattering pictures of ourselves on Facebook. I think an important distinction between shame and humility is that shame is often something others place upon us, and is often based on actions. Humility is a choice. Jesus and Paul chose to humble themselves. We choose to humble ourselves or not.
            Caz closed with the invocation from Philippians: Don’t seek empty glory. Empty yourself to be filled with God’s glory. Joy is found in emptying ourselves. Caz asked “What would it look like to empty ourselves to serve others?” The idea of emptying ourselves can be hard to grasp. But I think a good place to start is to think of pouring into others. For me it would be making my husband coffee, or doing any of the many chores that fall into his domain (good thing he doesn’t read the blog!). Any form of serving others is an act of humility. It says to the person served you are valuable, and I am putting your needs before my own. How much would our lives changed if we chose to humble ourselves and pour into others? What are we waiting for?
Beth Kropf