Tuesday, July 01, 2003

A thought for the day...

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. -Chinese proverb

But I think I would change that a little...

An Orthodox Proverb
When you have only three pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, a lily with the second, and give the third to the poor.

Monday, June 30, 2003


It is interesting after our discussion of this past week mostly over on James' blog paradosis on humility, that the sermon on Sunday was about the same thing (or at least part of it was... the part I remember...)

The starting premise was: "God is love"
and of course, I cannot disagree.

But a next step from that was: "God is humble".

I had never thought of God as humble before. Certainly, the Son, I have considered often in his "extreme humility" , but I had never thought of the Father and the Holy Spirit as humble before.

Fr. James (our rector) pointed out to us that Christianity is unique in that regards. Certainly even other religions that do have a personal God, do not believe He is humble.

So it got me to thinking about humilty and how I defined it in my comments on James F's blog.

Specifically, I was thinking that being able to forgive others is the beginning of humility, and being able to consider that you have nothing to forgiven them, is the end of humility.

Now I wonder. Certainly that is not how I would conceive of God even in the depths of His love for me? Do I not believe that some day He will hold me accountable? Therefore, must He not be keeping account of my sins?

Well, how can we consider all of this? If God is the Judge, then is it the duty of the Judge to keep account of people's sins? Certainly not. The duty of the Judge is to hear a case that is presented against someone, and then to Judge fairly. Then who is my accuser? Satan comes to mind (his name meaning: "accuser.")

So, perhaps thinking of God in his Humility, and God as the awesome and powerful Supreme Judge of the Universe works out something like this:

Some day I go to stand (or fall on my face) before the presence of God.

Satan comes to accuse me.

What defense do I have for myself, and by what standard shall I be Judged?

If God is my Judge, then God shall judge me by His own standard: namely Himself, and His own Supreme Humility. And how does He do that? By only holding against me all that I hold against my brother.

So, the bottom line is what I had always thought it would be (even though I've now gotten there via a different route)... namely, if I cannot forgive my brother (and all mankind is my brother), then God will hold me to that very standard that I hold my brother. By whatever standard we have judged, we will be judged.