Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
Hi friends, thanks for joining me today as we continue to examine and discuss “Show Me The Way” as we journey through Lent. I am discovering the beautiful appeal to Henri Nouwen’s writings. He is able to share his experiences and scripture knowledge so plainly and beautifully. I first learned of Nouwen through two very dear friends and in my opinion they are two of the humblest human beings I have ever had the privilege of knowing. God has surely blessed me with great teachers and role models in my life. (Thank you, JJ and PC).
— Matthew 23:11-12 —
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.”
The scripture verse today calls us to be humble. Humble, (is) the way of Jesus, humble (is) Jesus and (is) the way he calls his followers, his disciples.
Here’s a few Bible verses to guide us and how Jesus, “Shows Us The Way.”
🔸Luke 14:11, “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’”(NRSVA)
🔸Mark 8:35, “…anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (NJBV)
🔸Matthew 18:4, “…the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” (NJBV)
🔸Mark 8:34, “…If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (NRSVA)
🔸Matthew 5:3-10, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)
🔸Matthew 5:44, “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (NJBV)
Photo credit: Me (Top-Mooresville, IN; Left-Indianapolis, IN; Right-Indianapolis, IN (2015)
Mr. Nouwen uses the phrase, “the descending way,” on page 46, “[Jesus] presents to us the great mystery of the descending way (1). As I read the words, the idea of the rising and setting of the sun came to my minds eye. Being humble may not sound prestigious or a thing to aspire towards to many. I do believe it is something to aspire to, something to strive for and I know it is no easy task and definitely not for the weak. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I have been competitive for most of my life, striving to be the best. It requires practice and dedication; but I believe to being humble also requires practice and dedication for something way more valuable than trophies or ribbons; our eternal life in heaven with Jesus and the Father. Our human existence is factual; it is a priority to live, grow but what if our spiritual lives (?), they too require nourishment and growth. Jesus lead by example, he was fully human/fully divine and he loved fully, cared fully and did not seek places of power or recognition for himself. He was faithful to his Father and all glory and honor went to the Father. Life is a balance of taking care of our physical bodies as well as our spiritual growth and maturity, that can only come from being in the scriptures and following in Jesus’ footsteps.
Photo credit: JCornettcartoon
Being a Christian is not a one size fits all! Nouwen poses the question of “how, in imitation of Jesus are you/we to find that descending way (of Jesus). He goes onto to say the question is a personal one, an intimate one. Each person must decide for themselves, no one person can give you or me the answer. Referencing the verses from above, “It’s not simply a matter of renouncing your money, your possessions, your intellectual formation or your friends and family. For some people, it has indeed meant this but only because they felt personally called to that road. Each one of us has to seek out his or her own descending way of love.” (2) Page 47.
The descending way requires much patience, much prayer and lots of guidance. This descending way is concealed in our hearts and will take some effort on our part to clear a path to its hidden gems. (3) Page 47
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~Prayer Wall Day 12
Use a large piece of paper or sticky notes to write or draw prayers of joy and concerns. Visit the wall regularly and continue to pray for the prayers that have been posted.
✝️ Prayer ✝️
Lord Jesus Christ, make ours
the same attitude that was yours.
You emptied yourself,
taking the form of a slave,
you humbled yourself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
— After Philippians 2:5, 7-8
~Charlotte, the Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 46, paragraph 3.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 47, paragraph 2.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 47 paragraph 2.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation