It’s our choice. We can learn humility, or we can be humbled.
Humility embraces the reality that we don’t know everything.
Humility accepts that we get things wrong, and that we can’t need to blame others.
Humility knows that there’s more to learn.
If we want to be wise, we’ll learn humility. Because if we don’t, there’s every likelihood that we’ll be humbled.
This weekend, watching the result of the American election, we were reminded of what real humility looked like. In 1993, Bill Clinton was elected. The man who had been President was rejected by the voters. But acknowledging defeat, he wrote this:
It looks like humility.
When John McCain lost to Barack Obama, he gave this classy speech to his own supporters who weren’t ready to be gracious. If you haven’t come across it yet, watch it – it will bring a tear to your eye. You’re watching humility in action.
Watch John McCain’s notable concession speech from the 2008 election pic.twitter.com/FcUc48IDDe— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 5, 2020
This Sunday coming, the sermon from Acts 18:18-28 will feature one of the New Testament’s lesser known figures, Apollos. If we had met him, I think we might have felt intimidated. He was an Egyptian, from Alexandria. It was a city with a reputation like Oxford or Cambridge, a place that attracted all the clever people. He knew the Bible really well, could quote passages to you and could argue from the Old Testament persuasively. He knew all about Jesus and could unpack his teaching accurately. He was a brilliant public speaker, fluent and enthusiastic. And he was courageous. People loved listening to him. Some of them probably wanted to be him!
When a couple invited him home for dinner and suggested that there was more to learn and experience, he listened.
It looks like humility.
I get the opportunity to practise humility every week. Every week I get the chance to listen to someone tell me how I might have done something better. Every week I have an invitation to learn from unexpected sources. Every week I can choose to listen rather than just display what I already know. Every week I get the chance to learn humility.
And I want to take these opportunities because at the end of the day, I’d rather be like George Bush and John McCain than Donald Trump.
I’d rather be humble than humbled.
The interviews we have done so far have been short enough to watch while you’re waiting for your tea to cool and long enough to learn something new about someone that is fascinating. That’s because the people interviewed have been succinct, sharp and to the point. Not this week!
Jumi asked to do the interview this week. But the guy she interviewed really went on and on. We can only apologise!
Have you watched this yet?
As some of you know Julian is our go-to man about Christian books. He works for IVP, supplying the Christian book trade with the newest titles. This is the first of what will be an irregular feature where Julian will recommend a couple of books. I’ve read them both – they are great.
Friday 13 November: A National Day of Prayer
This Friday, the Evangelical Alliance have called on all the churches in the UK to pray – for the country, for those most affected by the pandemic, for churches at this time.
Last week, in the Sunday service, we were thinking about prayer and Clare asked whether we should be pray walking on our local streets for the city. I think she’s right. Why not do that this Friday where you live. You could invite another person to go with you.
Even if you don’t have time to do that, you could pray along with all UK Christians on Friday for our country. There’s a suggested prayer outline here: https://www.eauk.org/what-we-do/prayer-centre/uk-day-of-prayer-november-13th-2020/suggested-schedule-for-the-uk-day-of-prayer
Elim is connecting with this as a denomination:
At the end of the National Day of Prayer, we will hold a united time of prayer from 7pm – 8pm. This event will be live streamed on YouTube at elim.org.uk/youtube and Facebook at elim.org.uk/facebook. This prayer event will feature special guests and contributors from across the nations, together with worship led by Elim Sound. Both streams will have a live chat to interact and share your prayers as we join together in prayer.
1. Sunday Gathering
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
Or you can join us live on YouTube.
2. Coffee Morning – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz. So, whilst it’s not as good as being together in person, there’s an opportunity to do it all online.
3. On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 Home Groups
You might not have been before – you are always welcome. You might be interested to know what we talk about. The groups discuss the issues raised by the sermons – if you want to receive the questions we send to everyone – just let Neil know and he’ll add you to the mailing.
The link is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/998857193
Meeting ID: 998 857 193
4. WhatsApp Prayer Meeting
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting using WhatsApp. Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
5. Coming up – Quiz Night Social
We really enjoyed the last couple of quiz nights so we thought we’d do another one.
You can come on your own and will be teamed up on the night or you might want gather a team beforehand – there might be folks in church that you want to team up with but it’s also a chance to extend an invitation to those who don’t come to church with you regularly.
If you know that you want to come with friends and family you can form a team of up to 4 screens. But you must register that team with Ian by Thursday the 19th of November.
He needs to know the names of who will be in your team (the name that will appear on each person’s Zoom screen would be very helpful!) and the team captain’s mobile number (the team captain will also need to have WhatsApp installed on their phone).
If you have no clever friends (!), come along and we will create teams on the night – no one will be alone. But please turn up on time!
It should be a fun night 🙂
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: http://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.
Links and Resources
1. Morag’s Link to the Children
Here’s this week’s Kids Resources from Morag, with a variety of videos, crafts and other useful to help your child/ren read and learn from this week’s Bible passage.
2. What’s going on in Ezekiel?
Some of you might remember a friend of Neil’s, Antony Billington, coming to lead a weekend away. He used to work with Neil in London, but now pastors a church in Ashton in Makerfield. Recently he wrote a brilliant set of 6 reflections on the Book of Ezekiel. I really recommend them to you. You can find them here: https://licc.org.uk/resources/exile-with-ezekiel-1/
3. What do we look for in Political Leaders?
We all know that politics can bring out the worst in us all. But what should we look for in our leaders? Andy Flannagan has written a helpful article here.
In the wake of the US elections, the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and the current leadership through COVID-19 in the UK, many believers are engaging more heavily in political debates. Our leaders are under scrutiny and opinions are readily formed. In moments where their private lives hit the headlines, I’ve too often recently heard Christians say things like “we only care about whether they get the job done” or “we’re not electing a pastor, we’re electing a president”.
I understand what people mean by those statements, but I want to drive a stake through the flawed ‘sacred-secular’ divide exposed and encourage Christians to approach things differently.