Philippians 2:6-8: Re-Creation
[Jesus] always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. (GNT)
In this Lententide, we have meditated on the humility we might learn on our Emmaus journey; we ponder the outrageous hope we have in the Spirit. We have considered the phoenix rising from ashes as we have pledged to remain in God. We have admitted that we are children of God who rest in Christ; and we have determined to remain in the world while not being of it. We have reflected on the act of allowing ourselves to be de-created so that we might become new in Christ. Today, as we celebrate the wondrous miracle of new life that conquers death, we come to terms with our human yet divine nature.
Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. (NRSV)
Richard Rohr tells us, “All healthy religion shows you what to do with your pain . . . If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably become cynical, negative, or bitter . . . If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it – usually to those closest around us: our family, our neighbors, our work partners, and, invariably, the most vulnerable, our children”. (Rohr 119)
Jesus shows us how we might allow our suffering to save ourselves and others.
Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (MSG)
On this great day we might celebrate the breaking of chains of death that none thought breakable. When we witness Christ in his interactions with those who were crucified with him, and later the women and men who discovered the empty tomb, we do not see Christ puffed up in glory. Rather, we find a humble and loving shepherd who leaves an entire flock in order to rescue a single sheep.
On this great day we celebrate the invitation to re-create ourselves in Christ. We give thanks for the invitation to redemption in Christ. And we rejoice in the promise of hope the Spirit offers us. Let us accept these caring gifts with humility, fidelity and love.
The feast of Easter is an eight-day celebration, so this week we will consider how and where we might show our gratitude to God for these gifts of eternal salvation.
Richard Rohr, OFM. The Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.
To spend more time with these verses, use the scripture link to read varying translations of these words, and to open our hearts to these remarkable gifts of faith, hope and love.