Reflection April 17

Philippians 2:5-11


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

I’m automatically out.

If there were a game of Christ Mindset Tag, I’d be the first one to get tagged.  My thoughts are all over the place, up and down, in the gutter, in the pit, in the pride and satisfaction of my own self...  My mindset is often so self-focused. 

In my relationships with one another, I’m always assuming the worst about them and the best about myself, contrary to the popular admonition to do the opposite.  I’m always seeing others from a jaded & critical perspective.  And by others, I mean my friends, my family, my loved ones.  The people who are closest to me and I love the most, I still assume the worst about them.

 Who, being in very nature God,

Christ’s very NATURE IS GOD.

Ok, that makes sense now.  Wait, no it doesn’t.  Not at all.

Jesus, you are GOD.

 did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 

Jesus, you are human AND God. 

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! 

Jesus, Your humanity is what allowed you to die.  This plan hinged on how fragile & quick a human life is.  Granted, you could have come up with a different way, but this way you made, this crazy, incomprehensible way uses the very mess that we humans are, the very thing that feels like weakness – our humanity – to allow you to die.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Jesus, your divinity is what allowed you to be raised from that final death, that didn’t turn out to be quite so final after all.  Your divinity made you alive and lifted high and glorified.

What a strange and incomprehensible mystery that the miserable death you died and the glorious life you were resurrected to is what makes it possible for all of my messy humanity to be formed into divinity.  I am still human but you have invited me into the Divine.  I am still a finite, fragile, in-process, not-yet-there human, but you have grabbed my hand and pulled me up with you to the highest place so that I can fall to my knees in adoration. 

You are Jesus Christ, the Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Kate Fried