Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Underdog

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We began a new worship series at our church today called "The Underdog." For the next few weeks we will see how the story of the Bible is the story of the little person. Not that God is a "person up there" that "takes sides" - I'm ardently opposed to that theology - but we are shown through the f0llowing stories that our judgements about worth and power are often short-sighted: David whoops Goliath. The tiny, insignificant nation of Israel escapes the Egyptian Empire. The long-awaited messiah/king Jesus is born in a dirty, backwoods manger. And remember? :"Blessed are the poor... the meek... the humble..."

And yet the world tells us it's the rich, powerful celebrities that are of the most worth. That you must compete, kill and crush others to get ahead. That there is only the survival of the fittest.

Similarly, it is said that Zen master Bodhidharma, when once asked who he was, said "Nobody special." Maybe the point of the spiritual life is becoming "nobody special." Not only is there hope for the Underdog, but maybe we're supposed to become the underdog. According to Henri Nouwen, Jesus' three temptations (in Matthew 4) were these: To be useful. To be important. And to be powerful. And he passed on all of them... and became greater than anyone could've imagined.

So what do you think?
  • Why do we root for the underdog?
  • ...are we to become the underdog? Shall we seek to become "nobody special"?

1 comment:

Mark Walter said...

I think it's about learning to keep the ego in check.