When I was a child, Friday nights at my house were very special. It would be a family night and we would all watch TV together. My mom would allow us to have soda, and the snack of choice was always Cheetos. We would all gather on the couch and watch The Nanny and the Professor, The Partridge Family, and the crown jewel, The Brady Bunch. Our favorite episode of the Brady Bunch was the one about Peter when he saves a little girl’s life. He is at a toy store, and he notices a shelf falling over with a little girl in its path. He rushes in and pushes the little girl out of the way, saving her life. He is then praised through the news and his family and community as a “Boy Hero.” Peter loves this attention so much that he starts to treat his family and friends very poorly. He portrays himself as better than others because of he saved the little girl. He even goes as far as to throw himself a party to celebrate how much of a hero he is. The day of the party arrives, and no one comes. It is a real wake-up call for Peter. His family, realizing Peter has learned his lesson in humility, ends up throwing a party for him to celebrate his lesson learned. Another Brady Bunch happy ending. A sappy 70’s sitcom stealing a message from the Gospels.
The humble path that Jesus himself took to become our Savior is another lesson we should learn from. He never exalts Himself, but gives Himself completely over to His Father in Heaven. Our society constantly bombards us with people who are exalting themselves. Just watch an NFL football game. Touchdown dances are applauded but when a man takes a knee to pray, he is ridiculed. The Pharisees love to do touchdown dances. They exalt themselves in their righteousness, forgetting that they, too, are sinners. They feel that since they have lived good lives, they deserve all the good gifts. They do not realize that until they recognize their own sins, turn themselves completely over to God, and celebrate when others turn themselves over to God, that they will miss the feast offered by our Lord. Lent is the time when we can reflect on when we have been too righteous and when it is time to go to the Father humbly asking for his forgiveness. It is also a time to pray and encourage others to return to God, and at Easter, to celebrate not only their return but ours also.
Maybe it would not have been as entertaining a show, but how beautiful would it have been if Peter took a knee and thanked God for placing him in that store that day to save the little girl.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.