Message from the Executive Director
Dear CCT friends:
I am of the opinion that one of the least sought after virtues is humility. How many times do we hear prayers asking, "God make us a humble people?" In our day and age, many in the Church have come to believe that it must be our way or no way. This sense of self-righteousness is often bolstered by previous individual or collective experiences. These may have been painful and unjust experiences. Often these experiences place us in a survival mode in which either we forcibly defend our rightness or we consider ourselves to be unfaithful. I have seen how this reasoning and state of mind can easily lead to arrogance, if not arrogance, at least to an unwillingness to consider relationships with others as a priority of the gospel. This is a spirit far from that of Christ. In what I consider one of my favorite books of the Bible, the apostle Paul declares:
"Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:2-4)
It is not only the apostle's joy that we accomplish by fulfilling this scripture, but it is also Christ's joy.
The kind of love we are endowed in Christ is powerful enough to enable us to be of the same mind, to seek the unity of the Spirit and to regard others as more important than ourselves. This sounds so foreign to our ears; this is not the prevailing sentiment of our age. Not even the sentiment of many of us followers of Christ. Someone once told me, "It saddens me when I witness arrogance and hunger for power in my ecumenical colleagues."
It is said that during the Reformation, when Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli were exchanging strong words about Biblical interpretations and ecclesiastical practices, Zwingli spent a troubled morning walking the mountain trails of his beloved Switzerland. From a distance, he observed two goats making their way toward each other on a path barely stitched to the side of a cliff. It was obvious that these nimble creatures could not pass one another.
As the goats approached each other, each feinted a power move at the other in what looked like the beginning of a battle. In a surprise twist, however, one goat suddenly collapsed onto the narrow ledge so the other goat could walk over its back. Then each moved on. Zwingli was impressed. Here was strength defined by submission.
Among all of the servants of Christ, the ones who should more clearly model the virtues of love, unity and humility must be those who serve and seek the unity of the Church; because, if we fail to live by these virtues, we fail to keep "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Are we willing to submit in humility to God and to each other in order to achieve the greater goal set before us?
Together we will relentlessly pursue "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
To Jesus Christ be all glory now and forever!
Rev. Carlos L. Malavé