Not Humility, But Nerve

Sometimes I feel this way about meetings. But not today! Image via Quirkyworks (thanks, Google Image Search, for the tip).

It’s a Big Day of Meetings today!  Litchfield Area Ministerial Association (LAMA–cute, right?) at 8:30 AM, text study (reading the lessons for the upcoming Sunday) at 10:30, and pastors conference (or conference pastors–I am never sure) at 12:30.   Then it’s home to hang out with Zoe, cook and eat supper, put Zoe to bed, and . . . well, let’s just say the first episode of season three of Community expires on Hulu in a few days, and we still have two discs left of season two.

But anyway.  What better way to kick off a busy work day than with some inspiring quotes from everyone’s favorite Intimidatingly Brilliant Theologian, Walter Brueggemann?

Intimidated? Image via

He rocked the mic at that Celebration of Biblical Preaching a few weeks ago.  His plenary presentation was certainly brilliant but also pretty dense.  What I really loved was what he had to say in the Q and A.  For example:

“Did I understand you say ‘humility’?” he asked an innocent question asker.

“I did use the word ‘humility'” the asker admitted.

“Well, don’t.

Already, the crowd was delighted.  But then Brueggemann continued (and I paraphrase from my notes):

In preaching, we “invite other people into the narrative, where what God is doing in the world now is resonant with what we remember God doing in the past.  The lame walk, the blind see, there is new life.  None of the biblical language makes any sense, but it’s our dialect (for example, “Christ is risen!”).  What we need is not humility, but NERVE.”

What we need is not humility, but nerve.  Whether your day takes you into meetings or classrooms or hospital rooms or laundry rooms, have the nerve to look for the God who makes the lame walk and the blind see.  The God who raises Jesus from the dead.  Look for that God, take heart, and have nerve.

It’s okay.  Walter Brueggemann told us to.



Filed under Ministry Matters

8 responses to “Not Humility, But Nerve

  1. Laura Aase

    Best morning devotion ever! Thanks, Maggie. See you later today.


  2. Jenny Olsztynski

    Love it. Nerve is exactly what we all need!


  3. Sally Wilke

    Yay Walter!!! And thanks, Maggie, for continuing to share.


  4. mandatruchinski



  5. Em

    Amen, amen, amen!


  6. Have nerve. I’m going to remember that….I’ll jam it in, in between ‘Lord, you called me here…please give me the words…..lead me, guide me… over this beloved child of yours [them, not me]” Another friend of mine would probably call this ‘holy nerve.’ Thanks!


  7. Lara Forbes

    This post has really helped me these past couple of weeks. Thank you!


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