Wednesday, First Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

Psalm 119:67 – Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word

There is something powerful in being humbled before God and man. Most of us come to the faith full of arrogance. We think ‘wow, God is really lucky that He’s got me on His side’. And we look at churches thinking only of what they can do for us. And when we are in our pride, we go astray from God. We do not trust the Spirit, and we argue away the scriptures. We put ourselves above our own consciousness, and above God. And then we are humbled. God may humble us, or the world will humble us if God does not get to it first.

One common thing about every major prophet and servant of God, throughout the whole bible, is that they were all first humbled before God and man. Some, like Moses David and Paul, were murderers; some, like Peter, denied Christ before man; and some, like the leper in today’s Gospel, suffered from a horrible disease. As humans we are too much in our pride, and we cannot approach God in this way. We must be humbled before we can truly come to God with an honest heart. It is only when we are humbled, when our pride is replaced with repentance, that we can experience the redemptive power of God. The former warden of the prison I am now at once said: “A man must know he is lost, before he can be saved.” And then we, like the leper, can be healed.

And when that happens we can, like the leper, run forth and proclaim God to all who would hear.

From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word and commandment, Good Lord deliver us.” BCP 149

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