I’ll take one giant slice of Humble Pie, please.

March 2, 2022

Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 | 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 | Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 | Psalm 103 or 103:8-14

As I read the Ash Wednesday lectionary for 2022, I couldn’t help but to come back to that old adage that people say… “Well that person needs a whole heap of Humble Pie…” Perhaps if all of us, every day, took a small slice of humble pie for our soul’s digestion, we could be closer to God, Jesus and one another. On reflection, I believe the Lord, our God, gives us the greatest tools within the Bible to make, bake and eat that Humble pie.

A part of the Ash Wednesday lectionary that stood out to me is from the Gospel according to Matthew…

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

As many of you know, I’m a performer. Performer types often get saddled with a bad rapport. We are often considered divas, prima donnas, or pompous. So in order to counteract those judgements, many of us performing types consume heaps of humble pie. We worship at not only God’s altar, but that of music itself. Many of us give our talents to the higher power. Nothing is ever to be taken for granted, nothing ever assumed. We give our souls within our songs. We know that the gift we have is rare and should be celebrated in the eyes of Jesus. We hope to worship and help others to worship in the ways we know best, spreading the message of the Lord, through our musical offerings.

I realized, through this lectionary, that God has been helping me through the roughness of the music industry by instilling the practices of being humble and true to myself. This has (so far) proven to help me abundantly. Understanding what it means to reflect, especially during the season of Lent is a gift in itself. The second I start to worry about the thoughts and judgements of others is the moment I realize that I am not in a state of faith and reflection. In those moments, I am looking to get reactions that send small bursts of joy to my brain, and my ego. Just like when you open up any social media platform and see that you have 100 likes, or 10 comments on your photo. It lights you up in the moment and you end up only craving more of the attention, but it is not satisfying or satiating. These are the moments when I realize that I am not actively living through the words of Matthew’s Gospel. Those words help to anchor me, especially when the industry around me goes through periods of upheaval, drama and change. Noting some other words from Matthew that help with eating that yummy humble pie…

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

The Lord says: ‘Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.’ What does that mean? What does it entail? Might it show that those who do not do enough inner reflection or who do not see the Lord in all of the little things in life, receive shallow rewards?  I have noticed that my cup runs over, every time God shows himself to me, whether that be while singing a hymn at church or landing a big audition for a prominent opera company. God humbles me, and for that I am forever grateful. If we all were able to take such an approach with God, might we all realize our true blessings and be able to manifest them for others? If I were to bet on it, I would say yes. So, everyone grab a fork, and enjoy a slice of the Lord’s humble pie.

Arielle Rogers-Wilkey