Humbled and Exalted
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ~ Philippians 2:1-13
It is virtually impossible for us to fully grasp the fullness of what it meant that the very One who deserved full acclaim and power, was the One who found that acclaim in the worst possible way. How few of us see living that way as a possibility?
There are those who have tried to model the kind of humility that comes from giving up privilege to serve or to guide. Francis of Assisi and the Buddha both came from families that were rich and then gave themselves in service to others. Billionaire Chuck Sweeney gave his entire fortune away to serve those who needed it. Jimmy Carter went from being President of the United States to building homes for those who needed them.
But those are small potatoes to what the King of the Universe has done.
It is hard for us to imagine that the very place God is most glorified - is on the cross. It's hard to imagine that the cross is the place where death would lead to life.
It is hard to imagine that kind of humility being the source of such exaltation.
Is it possible for us to be that humble? To be that glorified for such humility? Not on that grand scale for us, certainly. But it is possible. In fact, it is happening right now.
That same humble servant Christ is at work in you right now. It is from the same humble God that we get life and a call to the same humility.
Where will that call to humility and life take you?
You have called me to be your humble servant, Lord. Teach me to live into that fully. Amen