February 13 – Humble Pie
Luke 14 :1-24
Flannery O’Connor wrote about Mrs. Turpin, so sure of her heavenly destination until the end of the story when she has a vision where she sees a crowd of souls moving toward heaven. To her shock, at the head of the line is a group of criminals, followed by poor folks. At the end, she sees her group. Their feelings of superiority and outward goodness is stripped away. Only the grace of God allows them to enter heaven along with the rest.
Mrs. Turpin has the right attributes of a church-going Christian, yet she is surprised to see herself in the back of the line going to heaven. Jesus says, “The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in but many will try and fail.” What happened to grace? Grace is there but what will you do with it?
We have the freedom to choose our destiny, however there are consequences. The wide gate is easier with a life free of spiritual responsibilities. Believe anything. Do anything. The narrow door seems more restrictive at first. Some freedoms might be sacrificed but those sacrifices count for something.
Jesus then says: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Could humility be at the heart of what Jesus is teaching about the narrow door? Yes, but the answer is not to strive to become one of the humblest persons in the world.” And tomorrow you do really well, take a selfie and post it on Facebook.
There is a cardboard sign outside a children’s clubhouse stating the rules for belonging: 1. Nobody act big. 2. Nobody act small. 3. Everybody act medium.
A devotion mentioned an ad for a company that will deliver and throw a pie in the face of anyone chosen. Crazy? Picture this: A well-tailored and arrogant preacher comes to the door. A delivery person is there with a special package. Is it a gift? The delivery person with a big smile on his face, opens the box. Before the preacher can say, “Hallelujah,” he whips a pie out of the box and, “Smash!”
The lesson? A pie in the face brings a person’s dignity down to where it should be and puts the big people on the same level as everyone else.
Remember the rules: Nobody act big. Nobody act small. Everybody act medium. Good advice from a clubhouse of kids. We need to follow that advice before someone decides we need a pie in the face.
Prayer Challenge: How can we pursue the narrow door with humility?