Humility is what God wants in us in order to get to know God better. It's not humiliation.
This sermon is quite a bit different from how it was written, therefore, please listen to the sermon rather than read it. The sermon notes which are included for convenience.
Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley.
August 28 - 14th Sunday after Pentecost
"Humility and Humiliation". Text is from Luke 14:1, 7-14
Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.
As Jesus travels to Jerusalem, he dines at the home of a Pharisee, someone who has a position of power in the community. And as typical of his journeys, he is under tremendous scrutiny here. People are looking for him to either say something to set off a storm and revolution, or make a serious misstep and give those who would stop the tide of change in its tracks. And what Jesus offers is something which initially seems to do with little more than manners.
While he is dining, he notices something interesting, in that as guests arrive, they volley for a place of honor, at left or right of the host. Jesus uses this as a teaching opportunity by means of a parable of a wedding banquet. It seems like simple advice. Don't take the place of honor at a table lest the host come to you and say, look, friend, I really meant for this place to go to someone else, so do you mind moving down some? Rather, instead take a place at the opposite of the table, and then if the host should decide that you need to move to a higher position, you'll really feel special instead of embarrassed.