Humility

CREATE A SACRED TIME AND SPACE
Leave all screens turned off and outside of the gathering space/room.
Set a single candle in the center of your space or on a child’s nightstand or headboard.

As you light the candle, you might sing or say the call and response song, This Is the Day1
Leader: This is the day…
Others: (This is the day…)
Leader: That our God has made…
Others: (That our God has made…)
Leader: Let us rejoice…
Others: (Let us rejoice…)
Leader: And be glad in it.
Others: (And be glad in it.)

All: This is the day that our God has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Leader: This is the day…
Others: (This is the day…)
All: That our God… has… made!


TAKE A MOMENT
This is a time to become fully present with one another and with God.
Invite everyone to take a deep breath in and exhale fully.
Repeat this deep breathing for about 20 seconds, everyone at their own pace.

LET GO & RECEIVE
Excitement over past or future events - or, worries, pain and/or guilt - can keep us from immersing in God’s loving Presence, right here and now.

You might invite participants to Let Go as follows:

“In one or two words, how have you been living like someone asleep, with the covers 
still over your head?”

Allow time for a response from each individual.

Breathe in: know that you are, right now, being filled with the Holy Spirit and the light of God.
Breathe out: release into grace any guilt, shame or pain caused by letting your ego be your guide, today.

Pause

You might invite participants to Receive Grace as follows:

“How have you lived fully awake, today?

Allow time for a response from each individual.

Breathe in: notice how the Spirit is as close to you as your breath.
Breathe out: thank God for opening your eyes and ears and heart each day.”

Pause



READING SUMMARY
Before moving on, take two more deep breaths.

Then share a summary of this evening’s text. Using your own words is strongly encouraged. If that feels uncomfortable or overwhelming, or if you would like a young person to lead this portion, here are some thoughts on this story:

In our world, we often celebrate power. Power People end up in power through some not so good ways. Discuss some people who have gained power in some not so great ways. This verse talks about how Jesus acted in very unexpected ways. Jesus shows the glory of God through obedience and humility. The very beginning of the text says that we should have the same attitude as Jesus, and in this verse, the attitude is humility and obedience. But what does this mean? In this context, humility entails focusing on the larger community and being less focused on the self. Jesus entered into an uncomfortable world and died in a very terrible way for the good of all. Obedience being living the life that Jesus was called to live! Jesus went into the uncomfortable spaces because that was the mission.

SHARING THE READING
Readings can be shared around the circle by verse, or a different reader can lead each night.

A reading from Philippians 2:5-112

5Your attitude must be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Christ, though in the image of God,
didn’t deem equality with God
something to be clung to -
7but instead became completely empty
and took on the image of oppressed humankind:
born into the human condition,
found in the likeness of a human being.
8Jesus was thus humbled -
obediently accepting death, even death on a cross!
9Because of this, God highly exalted Christ
and gave to Jesus the name above every other name,
10so that at the name of Jesus every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God:
Jesus Christ reigns supreme!


DISCUSS
At the close of the reading you might begin with basic questions, such as:
Did this reading have any words or ideas that anyone doesn’t understand?
Let’s explore what those might mean, together.

If you are ready for further discussion, you might consider these questions:
*Talk about humility and obedience. 
*What ways can you show humility and obedience in the way that Jesus did?


CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE
From your devotional basket, please take the following items:
~Notebook or binder for everyone
~Drawing or coloring utensil(s) for everyone

Be sure notebooks/binders and utensils are handy but not a distraction.
You might invite the group into prayer with these or similar prompts:

I invite everyone to find a comfortable posture appropriate to prayer and I encourage everyone to close their eyes.

Allow a few beats for the movement to settle down.

Let’s all take a few deep breaths to settle our minds:
~let go of the discussion questions and conversation;
~let go of the Bible story;
~let yourself rest for a moment in the love of your family and the presence of
God.

After a few deep breaths, share the following:
Pay attention to your breath in. See if you can feel your breath all the way down in your belly.
Let all the air out.

Breathe a few times, focusing on deepening the breath into your belly.

Pause

With each breath in, imagine that breath going through your entire body. 
As you let your breath out, all the way from your belly, imagine letting go of the damaging powers in this world. 

Pause

As you continue to breathe, pay attention to ways in which God is calling you to be humble.

Pause for what feels appropriate for those in the room.


At the end of your silent time, invite attention back to the room with words like these:

I invite you to return your awareness to this place.
You might wiggle your toes and fingers or gently roll your shoulders or your head.
Slowly bring your body and mind back to here and now, and rest for a moment.

Resting is important: the transition from silence to immediate action or thought can be very jarring. Let the movement from rest to engagement be gentle.

PERSONAL REFLECTION
After a few beats, while people are still transitioning, introduce the reflection questions, as follows:

As we bring our awareness back to here and now, let’s consider how God was with us 
in this time. 
Reflect on a thought or feeling that seemed powerful or meaningful to you.
Where or in what way did you experience God in this time?

Allow about 3-5 minutes; gauge the activity-level of participants to determine when they are “done”.
Invite people to share their reflections with the group/family, only as they are comfortable. Not everyone will have something to share or feel comfortable sharing their experience. Let this be okay: not everyone needs to share.

Listen carefully to one another.
Acknowledge each sharing with words of affirmation.
Discussion can and should be about curiosity, clarity and/or affirmation.
This is not a time for correction or psycho-analyzing experiences.

BEDTIME SONG
As the following song is sung or said, the Leader should gather all materials utilized during the practice. Stow them in the basket for easy removal and future use.

As adults prepare to leave the room, you might sing or say  the call and response song, This Is the Day1
Leader: This is the day…
Others: (This is the day…)
Leader: That our God has made…
Others: (That our God has made…)
Leader: Let us rejoice…
Others: (Let us rejoice…)
Leader: And be glad in it.
Others: (And be glad in it.)

All: This is the day that our God has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Leader: This is the day…
Others: (This is the day…)
All: That our God… has… made!



FINAL BLESSING
As they blow out the candle, children can offer the following blessing/prayer with their adults:
“I love you and I know you love me; let’s always be gentle with each other.”

Adult(s) can share the following blessing/prayer with the child[ren] as they turn out the lights:
“I love you and I know you love me; let’s always be gentle with each other.”


  1. We remember this song from our youth and searched for copyright/author/composer info, to no avail. Please share if you know who deserves the credit!
From The Inclusive Bible (Rowman & Littlefield; 2007). Used with permission from The Quixote Center.

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