Friday, September 16, 2011

Philippians 2: We can never be as humble as Jesus - but if we shine like stars, the heavens will shake

I will never have the chance to descend from a heavenly throne and take on the form of a servant.

But I DO have the chance to leave my house and deliver some garden squash to neighbors who don't know me.

I will (probably) never be asked humble myself and become obedient to death, even death on a cross.

But I AM asked daily to humble myself and become obedient to the death of my proud "listen to me and do what I want" self.

I will never be exalted to the highest place, and given the name that is above every other name.

But I DO and WILL gladly bow the knee and with my tongue confess as Lord the name of him who "made himself nothing," to the glory of God the Father. And I DO and WILL resist the daily temptations to follow the example of the angelic pretender and would-be usurper Lucifer.

Someday in glory I hope I will learn the story of all of the marriages healed, kind words spoken, harsh deeds left undone, and good works carried forth in love, unity and humility, in response to Paul's depiction of the servanthood of Christ in Philippians 2. Other than the gospel accounts of the sermon on the mount and the Passion, there is no finer description of what Jesus "is all about".

And it is interesting that Paul brackets this hymn with earnest pleas for Christian unity. As in Ephesians, there is a powerful connection between Christian unity on earth - Mary and Martha and you and I serving each other in the hurly-burly and hum-drum of daily life - and every knee bowing and every tongue, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord. Maybe it's not just metaphor when Paul says that when we "do everything without complaining or arguing", we "shine like stars in the universe." I wonder - who or what is witnessing and evaluating my "shine", right now?

No comments:

Post a Comment