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.
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!
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!