Lessons in Humility - Part 2

Meet the Langs.

Hans-Peter and Verena with Melkite sisters from Syria.

Hans-Peter and Verena with Melkite sisters from Syria.

Hans-Peter and Verena are the field marshals for Wittenberg 2017 in Europe. They have long served the Body of Christ in Austria, particularly in their ecumenical work with the Austrian Round Table. We first met the Langs at an Antioch gathering in Turkey, but our working relationship began in the spring of 2011, at the Antioch Council meeting in Berlin. With an introduction from George and Hanna, we shared the vision for Wittenberg 2017.  A couple of days later Hans-Peter and Verena asked to meet with us in the evening.  They had compiled a list of men and women whom they would approach with the vision.  Their list included Lutheran pastors, Pentecostals, a German prince, lay leaders in the charismatic renewal, a Catholic bishop, an archdeacon, and in time, they suggested, they might be able to approach a cardinal.  We were stunned, sobered, humbled as realized Wittenberg 2017 was moving from vision to action.  The Langs meant business!

After the Antioch Council meeting, we traveled with the Mileys to the Langs' house for a brief stay before our next gathering. What a beautiful place of refuge and hospitality!  One afternoon when several in our little party were resting, Verena took me aside. "I want to show you something," she said. She led me upstairs to large sunny room at the top of their house.  In one corner there was a heavy curtain setting apart a small, angular room.  She pushed aside the curtain and led me into their chapel. She took the consecrated host out of the tabernacle and said, "I will leave you alone with Jesus."

What an amazing peace settled over me when she left!  Though Jesus is always with us, I felt His closeness in an unusual way in that space. "Oh Jesus," I prayed in a silent, heavy sigh, "It is good to be alone with you!"

"Why do you like to be alone with me, Amy?" I heard Him respond in my mind.

His question took me by surprise. "Because You know me so well.  Because I am at ease with You. Because I can rest in Your presence."

"Amy," He replied. "You like to be with me because I am humble."

Well, that blew my mind! Of course, I knew in theory that Jesus was humble. He humbled Himself to obey the Father, to suffer on the cross.  But He was also God incarnate!  He could do anything.  I had never understood how omnipotence and humility fit together..... Could it be that Jesus the man was just as easy to be with as the Jesus I knew only in spirit?  Would I have been as comfortable with Him in first century Israel as I was in this little room in Austria two millennia later? Is humility always manifest in this way? My mind was spinning so fast that I forgot we were having a conversation.

"Amy," Jesus gently interrupted my internal musings. "What about the Mileys and the Langs?"

I knew exactly where He was going this time. "Well, Lord, you know that I am a little awed by them.  Sometimes I feel a bit shy and awkward in their presence, but I love being with them.  They bring out the best in me.  I feel known; I feel happy and hopeful and more fully alive in You when I am with them."

I felt Him smile at me one last time that day. "Yes, Amy.  They are humble too."