Partners in peace: humility
By Rev. Abby King-Kaiser
And being found in human form, he humbled himself.
Reflection: When I was a student, my campus minister was working to support the very new Muslim Students Association on our large, public campus. As a result, I became friends with a young woman who wore a hijab. Our high school had had some religious diversity—I came from a very Catholic city that is also the birthplace of Reform Judaism. I had grown up next to a family who spoke Russian and put a menorah in their window when we got out the Christmas lights. But I had never known anyone Muslim, much less become friends.
At the time, I didn’t yet know who I was spiritually. Marina, on the other hand, had chosen her hijab. She chose to pray five times a day, even if it was in a stairwell or corner of the library. I remember sitting on the floor of her dorm room, feeling scared to ask what her prayer life was like and why it mattered to her. Now, I can see that I learned so much from overcoming that fear and listening. The more I follow the humble Christ, the more I learn and grow from the people around me, and the more fully I can follow Jesus towards God’s justice.
Action: Look over the long course of your life and work. When has setting aside your own needs, admitting that you were wrong, or otherwise practicing humility led you to greater understanding? Looking at what is around and ahead of you, how might this passage call you to follow Christ towards peace?
Prayer: Loving God, we are grateful for the way you love us without condition, at our most arrogant and at our most helpless. Cultivate the humility of Jesus in me, that I might be able to see you in the faces of those I encounter. Amen.
Rev. Abby King-Kaiser is a teaching elder, a mother of two, and a campus minister at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She sees the world in pictures, which is most often translated via Instagram even though painting is more fun.
This year’s A Season of Peace resources are designed to help Presbyterians explore different forms and lenses for peacemaking. From the personal level to global issues like human trafficking and sustainable development, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church. Through the days of this year’s A Season of Peace, we are invited to reflect on:
- Peace that passes understanding: personal testimonies of faith and peace within self, within families, within communities
- Partners in peace: interfaith work for peace and justice, building peace between us while witnessing to peace in our wider world
- Go and see: reflections from travel study seminar participants
- The church and its witness: reflections on addressing trafficking in its varied forms
- Peacemaking and practice: stories and reflections on building bridges and crossing divide
Each author represents a variety of vocations and experiences in peacemaking efforts. Individuals and households are invited to make use of these daily reflections beginning on Sunday, September 2, and concluding on World Communion Sunday, October 7.