Door of Humility

By: Marcy Barthelette

I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. Romans 16:19b

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Get off your high horse.” As a matter of fact, if you’re anything like me, it may have been directed your way at one time or another, perhaps recently. Of course, in our day, it means to stop thinking so highly of ourselves, that our ideas are better than someone else’s, or that we do more for the church and our community and, likewise, we have difficulty understanding why others may see our ideas as arrogant.

There was a time, however, when it meant exactly what it says. You see, the Church of the Nativity, located in Bethlehem, on the west bank of Palestine, was built over the cave where Jesus was reputedly born. It was likely built originally by Constantine I sometime in the fourth century and is thought to have been destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the sixth century. Until around the fifteenth century, entrance to the church was accessed through a very large opening, so large, in fact, that soldiers and dignitaries rode right in on their horses, while others brought carts for looting treasures from the church. 

So a decision was made to fill in the original large entrance and create a smaller opening through which visitors had to bend in order to enter. It has come to be known as the Door of Humility as it causes everyone to bow low before entering the place where God humbled himself to become human. To humble oneself when entering this Holy place is an outward sign of respect and worship.

The theme, “Get off your high horse” seemed to follow Pastor Dennis’ sermon from Sunday morning. He spoke about our tendency to find fault with one thing and another that the church is doing, simple things like which time is appropriate for each service, the kinds of music that are chosen, and what people wear to church. These fault-finding comments tend to divide us at a time when, more than ever, we need to unite.

my dear brothers and sisters, watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught… Romans 16:17

Let’s face it, God accepts us just as we are, warts and all. He isn’t concerned about when we worship.

Rather He treasures any time we spend praising Him. Any song that honors His name is certainly lovely music to His ears. And as for what we wear, He knows that it’s the love in our hearts that matters, not how we look on the outside.

God of Grace, when we start thinking too highly of ourselves, remind us again that every breath we take is a gift from you. Ray Pritchard, Why He Came  

So the next time we make a statement that sounds a little like gossip or a complaint about the way business is being conducted and somebody gives us that “get off your high horse” look, we’d do well to bow low and walk through that door of humility because, as every Christian should know, we are strongest when we’re on our knees and a little humility goes a long way toward uniting people.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20b

One Response to “Door of Humility”

  1. Rhonda Wilson says:

    Thanks Marcy. This complimented Dennis’ message very well. Thank you.

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