Advent Table Topic: Humility

On Tuesday, an Assistant Professor of Family & Community spoke to the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine on “Christ-centered Humility in Medicine.”  His presentation drove home the importance of discussing and embracing humility in the context of health care.  Why?

When we (and those with whom we are close) receive care in the medical context, we are reminded of/confronted by our limitations and reliance upon “Jesus the Great Physician, Healer, and Teacher.”  In addition, it is important for health care educators to learn from their learners, i.e., student-centered learning delivered with respect/humility, and for health care professionals to deliver patient-centered medicine with respect/humility.  What a joy to partner with CMDA toward such an end!

No matter one’s relationship to higher education (or the challenges one faces at home, in the community, as part of a local congregation),  reflect upon and take up this Advent the act of doing

nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Nativity Story (2006)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. — Philippians 2:3-18 (NIV)

Father, Forgive me for my grumbling and arguing as I approach the end of an illness, a full term and the Advent journey.  Enable me and all those whom you’ve called to serve in higher education to “become and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.'”  Fill us with your Spirit that we may “shine among them like stars in the sky” as we “hold firmly to the word of life” and point to you as the only one deserving worship this Christmas and in the coming year.  To you be all the glory!  In the name of your Son Christ Jesus, Amen!


More Resources for Advent: As Mike mentioned in Repost: Bobby Gross: Living the Christian Year, I have written about Advent and practicing a Christ-Centered Christmas.  In addition, I have been blessed by and encourage others (including you) to take time to visit Christine Sine’s Godspace series on Advent and the Advent Conspiracy.  Note:  My 2010 Godspace post is Second Wednesday of Advent – A Family “Advent”-ure by Thomas Grosh. For ESN’s developing Advent collection click here.

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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