In Genesis Chapter 11 we read the story of the tower of Babel. It is a narrative about humans aiming to ‘make a name for themselves’ . Aiming to reach up to the heavens. In essence this is a definition of pride.
Brian Rosner at our clergy Conference made the assertion that ‘ Pride is the death of community’. The more we think about ourselves the more we want to make a name for ourselves, the less we are focused on others and the development of community. He described humility as, ‘not thinking less OF ourselves, but of thinking less ABOUT ourselves’. Humility is not about running ourselves down, but rather being comfortable with who we are, so that we can focus not on ourselves but on God and others.
Here at St. James we desire to be a loving, caring, and supportive community. We desire that all who come among us will find it easy to belong. However if we as individuals, as part of our community, are focused ourselves and spending our energy thinking about ourselves, we will not be focused on the task of meeting. welcoming and getting to know those who are new among us.
Of course the one who has the ‘ name above all names’ – Jesus Christ – is the one who, through his life left, all pride out of his life. Whenever he was tempted to think about himself and to focus on himself (note the temptations and the Garden of Gethsemane) he always rejected these temptations and chose to serve and give His life for others.
Let us pray that God’s Holy Spirit would empower us to think less about ourselves that we would focus more on Jesus and on others.