Humility is a difficult challenge for many of us. It asks us to set aside our pride and have a more modest opinion of ourselves. Jesus set for us an incredible example of humility. But most of us will find it to be an example that is difficult to follow.
Watch this clip from Batman (1989) as Bruce Wayne invites Vicki Vale over for a dinner date in his home.
In this scene, they awkwardly dine at the long, formal table with much distance between them. The bigness of the room and the length of the table contribute to the tension. Neither Bruce nor Vicki can relax until pride, expectations, and formality are set aside for a much more comfortable experience.
For individual or family reflection:
- Have you ever been at an incredibly formal dinner? Describe it.
- How did it make you feel? Was it nice and exciting?
- Was it uncomfortable and stuffy?
- What did you think when you first saw them sitting at that long table?
- How did the room feel?
- How would you have felt at that table?
- Why do you think Bruce wanted to have dinner in that room in the first place?
- What changed from one table to the next?
- How did Alfred’s presence help?
- Bruce and Vicki obviously felt much more comfortable and more like themselves at the humble kitchen table. Where and with whom do you feel most like yourself?
Just for kids:
- Have you ever been to a fancy dinner where you had to act really good?
- Was it hard?
- How did you do?
- What is your favorite room in your house?
- Why do you like being in there?
- What do you think it would be like to have dinner with Jesus?
- How would he make you feel?
- What kind of table would he want to eat at?
- What would you eat?
Read John 13:1-17
This is the story of Jesus preparing to eat the Passover Meal with his disciples. The disciples are surprised and tremendously uncomfortable when Jesus (of all people!) takes on the role of a servant and begins to humbly wash their feet. This scene is one of Jesus’ greatest acts of humility. The moment is deeply meaningful as Jesus finds a beautiful way to show them how he understands himself and communicates his love for them. He is showing them not only his love, but also how they are expected to humble themselves and love other people.
This week, think about the ways that you might “go and do likewise.”
- In what ways are pride and self-importance in your way?
- What opportunities to serve your friends and family and neighbors are you missing?
- How could you walk more humbly and serve more lovingly?
Pray (to yourself or with your family) for God to strengthen you in humility and that you will encounter a person who needs your service this week. Pray that you would be more willing to humble yourself before God and one another by offering grace and generosity.