Youtube can be an amazing space to find inspiration and comfort. I connect with leaders from around the globe and there is so much to be learnt, it’s easy to access and free! One of these is this video from Uganda Christian University. Rev Jessica Hughes discusses gentleness and extravagance focusing on Jesus’ journey to the cross. She reframes both in my mind during her 18 minute talk and, at the end, I was compelled to strive harder to mirror Christ daily.
In her words:
“Isaiah describes the Servant: he will bring forth justice (42:1, 42:3), he will not cry out or lift his voice (42:2). He is gentle; he will not break the bruised reed (42:3; or break those who are already wounded). He perseveres (42:4). This picture of who the Messiah will be is important, particularly since by the time Jesus came, the Jews were looking for a political messiah to rescue them from the Roman oppression, not the Messiah who had been prophesied through the ages.”
Another line that spoke to me is:
” Jesus loved to love lavishly and extravagantly. He was willing to be with the outcast, to reach out to those who were the least in order to bring them in too.”
CRPS sometimes makes me feel as one of the least, I am not as able as so many and each day requires a lot of planning to be successful. It is reassuring to have Jesus for company and comfort! Our daily challenge is beautifully summarised here:
“I submit that part of becoming like Him is to minister with as much gentleness, tenderness, compassion, and extravagance as He did.”
My favourite portion though is the framing of gentleness. Matthew 12:20 (“He will not crush a reed under His heel or blow out a smoldering candle until He has led justice and righteousness to final victory.”) has always been a favourite, I often feel I am the reed but Jessica shares a quote from Henri Nouwen which develops this into something I can action today!
“Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let’s dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us.”