• Steven Marsh

Speaking Up Without Being Arrogant: a Reflection on Psalm 119:97-120, Jonah 3:1-4:11, Hebrews 12:1-1

Gaining insight into the psalmist’s heart is helpful and immobilizing. I often wonder if the writer ever had a bad day…an evil thought…a deceptive word…was overcome with jealousy, envy, anger, or rage.

Most likely, Psalm 119 is an example of poetic insight into redeemed humanity. It is not ascribed to David or Asaph. But when I see any God follower embody an authentic hate for “every false way” I am encouraged.

Seeing is believing. I yearn to see God’s kingdom advance on earth…not militaristically, but be-attitudinally.  Every time I behave like Jonah, resenting good things happening to bad people, I pause and regroup. It’s easy today to succumb to “vengeance is mine says I.”

It is because of Jesus’s suffering that we have the ability not to grow weary or lose heart. The “not church” community would benefit from seeing followers of Jesus behave and live differently because of the One they follow.

I yearn to see the divide between the few and the many narrowed; strife diffused between the privileged and the downtrodden; and equality restored between the classes, genders, and ethnic groups.

The gospel reminds us that all who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Arrogance has no place in Christianity or those who name the name of Christ. But it does. We have some work to do. And it won’t be easy. And that’s a good thing.

Scripture Readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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