Scripture

Philippians 2:5-7

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature 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. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!  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.

Reflection

Writer and political activist, Anne Lamott, while presenting the Ted Talk “12 Truths I’ve Learned from Life and Writing,” had this to say about “truth.” “[All] truth is a paradox.” I don’t know if that is fully quantifiable, but it is certainly compelling.

In truth, Jesus typifies this idea, and the Apostle Paul both highlights the paradox of Jesus’ life in this text and bids us to live this way. Think like, and, therefore, be like Christ. If you want to truly live, give your life away. If you want to be first, be last. If you want to be the greatest, be a servant of all. In Christ, you get more from giving, and the way to life is through death—death to our former way of living.

As you reflect on this passage, ask yourself how you can embody these paradoxical principles of Christ.

Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer. 

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose, through Jesus Christ my Lord. AMEN.