The second in a series of three sermons given by Dr. Ralph Blair at the 2011 Preaching Festival held in Ocean Grove, N.J.
How fortunate are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
A New Yorker cartoon depicts a sadsack newly arrived at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter is inspecting the computer screen: “You say ‘meek,’ but your records say ‘passive-aggressive.’”
The meaning of meekness gets misunderstood. Might the meek be mere milquetoasts? Or wussies? Is so-called “meekness” just a strategy for self-protection? Is it but a pout – a calculated scheme to get one’s way? Some timidity may intend to intimidate. Or, she may be only a nervous Nelly. But all of these are the damned absence of the meekness of the fortunate.
Jesus, himself, models the meekness of which he speaks. As Paul wrote about him to Philippians, Christ did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.” (Phil 2:6-7) In his entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, he’s described as gentle, meek, and astride, not a great horse like a triumphant general, but a young donkey. (Matt 21:5) And hadn’t he invited the weary with these welcoming words: “Come to me. I’ll give you rest. Be yoked with me. Learn from me, for I’m gentle, humble – meek – and you’ll find rest with me, for my yoke eases your burden and lightens the load.” (Matt 11:28-30) He stoops down to where we are. Read more →