Summary: Meekness as demonstrated by Jesus Christ is a key part of the character of a Christian. If meekness is not for wimps, then what is it...really?
CATM Sermon - October 2, 2005 - Mighty Meekness
J. Upton Dickson was a fun-loving fellow who said he was writing a book entitled Cower Power. He also founded a group of submissive people. It was called DOORMATS. That stands for “Dependent Organization of Really Meek And Timid Souls” Their motto was: “The meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s okay with everybody”. Their symbol was the yellow traffic light.
An old cartoon shows people demonstrating. The person in front in holding a sign reading "Please Support the Meek". Other signs in the protest march by the meek read: "Pardon Us", "No Offense Meant", "We Don’t Mean to be Pushy", and "A Modest Slice of the Pie for the Shy".
And finally, someone has said, “"Of course the meek will inherit the earth, what, did you think they’d take it by force?"
One of the synonyms that people associate with meekness is wimpiness. Some see meekness as an excuse for spinelessness and fragility. Of course, the truth is the opposite. Today’s passage challenges some very basic assumptions. We believe that power is what it takes to claim ground in this world. We think that military might, strong, persuasive leadership and a single-minded dogged focus on objectives is what yields results.
And then we’re faced with realties that don’t fit that model. Iraq has shown the weakness of the most powerful nation on earth. Since victory was declared by President Bush, hundreds and hundreds of American soldiers have died. Soldiers of the most powerful nation in he world tortured and abused helpless prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi fighters and innocents have died. Iraq is just this side of plunging into civil war. God help them.
We’ve seen how the use of force at the end of the second world war in the defeat of Japan created moral questions that are still being asked today. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Cities filled with innocent civilians. Was it right to kill 200,000 people to avoid the deaths of potentially millions more in a drawn out land battle? Those who live by the sword need to keep asking that kind of question if they are to remain human.
Whenever the choice is made to use power to resolve conflict, wounds are created in the soul of the nation that exercises that power.
But there is another way. It is not the way of war, of the brutal use of power. It is a way that doesn’t create “collateral damage”, which is the power-lingo for children and moms dying in battle.
It is the way of meekness. What is meekness, really? There’s one passage of Scripture that provides what I think is the best definition of meekness:
Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I watched a brilliant film with my son Jared a short while ago called, “Downfall”. It is about the last ten
days of Hilter’s Nazi Germany, the last ten days in an underground bunker when the realization of the colossal failure of Nazism and of its war efforts was dawning on Germany’s leaders at the time. At one point, Hitler says, “Compassion is an eternal sin. To feel compassion for the weak is a betrayal of nature. The strong can only triumph if the weak are exterminated”.