The letter to the Colossians exhorts us to clothe ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (3:12). Well, it didn’t take long for meekness and boldness to collide for Paul. For Paul, acting boldly is a necessary evil, reserved for situations of conflict and correction. So, have we had it all wrong? Should Women of the ELCA revise its mission “to mobilize women to act meekly on their faith in Jesus Christ?” How can boldness be lifted up when the fruits of the Spirit so strongly lead to meekness? Fortunately, there’s a richness and depth to the meaning of meekness that embraces the virtues of gentleness, humility, and patience and that requires boldness. For the meek can, indeed, be bold, as a bold Jesus told us.
This excerpt is from “Bold/Meek: When Words Collide” by Elyse Nelson Winger in the December 2007 issue of Lutheran Woman Today, now Gather magazine. Today is the ninth Sunday after Pentecost. The readings are Genesis 18:1-10a; Amos 8:1-12 (semicontinuous); Psalm 15; Psalm 52 (semicontinuous); Colossians 1:15-28; Luke 10:38-42. We remember Bartolomé de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, who died in 1566.