The Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

When we discuss the concept of rights in political philosophy, I confess that I feel conflicted. On one hand, the recognition of, and commitment to, the rights of others is essential to treating them with the dignity that is due to one created in the image of God. On the other hand, the constant practice of demanding my own rights does not seem consistent with the claim to follow the one that Paul described in Philippians 2:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8 (NRSV)

So, yesterday’s sermon on entitlement by Mitch Randall at NorthHaven Church was particularly convicting. Here is the prayer that it prompted:

The petty heart
feels entitled to everything,
and finds grace in nothing.

Blessed is the one
who feels entitled to nothing,
but finds grace in everything.

Amen

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