Saturday, August 22, 2015


Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, Ruth said to him, “Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?”  Ruth 2:10

The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:11-12


Holy is His Name by John Michael Talbot

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
And my spirit exalts in God my Savior
For He has looked with mercy on my lowliness
And my name will be forever exalted
For the mighty God has done great things for me
And His mercy will reach from age to age

And holy, holy, holy is His name

He has mercy in every generation
He has revealed His power and His glory
He has cast down the mighty in their arrogance
And has lifted up the meek and the lowly
He has come to help His servant Israel
He remembered His promise to our fathers

And holy, holy, holy is His name
And holy, holy, holy is His name


We have many examples of the greatest become the least.  However, on a day when we mark the royal Queenship of a humble Jewish girl, we recall how the mighty one has looked with mercy on her lowliness and exalted her above all.  Ruth provided the question that Mary asked ages hence:  “Why should I be favored with your attention?”

Israelite custom made provision for the poor, the widow, the stranger and the orphan to gather what was left behind by the harvesters, and instructed farmers not to cut to the edges of their fields, for the sake of these marginalized

This simple act of hospitality meant that farmers left something behind.  They did not harvest everything so that the poor could have something.  While it was the king’s duty to care for the “anaweim,” that duty was shared by all who owned property and controlled resources. They got the benefit of gleaning not because they were poor, but because they were members of the human family.  Ruth got the benefit of gleaning because she was adopted into her new family.  Mary got the favor of the Lord.  Are you ready to act accordingly as the Lord comes to help you?


Will you say yes to give rebirth to Jesus in our day?

When I think about the powerful making themselves lowly, one modern example in my book is former President Jimmy Carter.  This week, he was in the news with the revelation of his cancer. 

Former President Jimmy Carter held a press conference earlier this week to announce that in addition
to the previously discovered liver cancer, doctors had also discovered four melanomas on his brain. Despite the diagnosis, he remained upbeat and positive, saying "I'm perfectly at ease with whatever happens." He continues to lead with grace and dignity, even in the face of a brain cancer diagnosis.

It's no wonder the residents of Plains, Georgia admire him so. And it was this admiration that spurred supporters to start a new campaign—Jimmy Carter for cancer survivor. As President Carter and his family returned home yesterday evening, they found the streets of Plains lined with supportive messages.  The smallest act of hospitality – putting up lawn signs – probably made President Carter blush when he drove home from his first radiation treatment.

These people admire President Carter because he not only preached the Good News, he lived it.  Conducting Bible study every week when he was home in Plains.  Building houses for the poor through Habitat for Humanity.  Leading teams to foreign lands to witness for free and fair elections.  Creating a new model for the life of a president after leaving office.

As the Daily Kos story put it, “I think this is one campaign we can all get behind—Jimmy Carter for Cancer Survivor.” 

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