Friday, April 14, 2017

With His arms lifted wide.

Though His state was that of God,
Yet He did not deem equality with God
Something he should cling to.
Rather, He emptied Himself,
And assuming the state of a slave,
He was born in human likeness.
He being known as one of us,
Humbled himself, obedient to death,
Even death on a cross. Philippians 2: 6-8

In Greek the verb kenosein means to “let go,” or to “empty oneself,” and this is the word that Paul chooses to describe “the mind of Christ.”

In this beautiful hymn, Paul recognizes that Jesus had only one “operational mode.” Everything He did, He did by self-emptying. He emptied Himself and descended into human form. And He emptied Himself still further, “even unto death on the cross.” In every life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying–or to put it another way, descent: taking the lower place, not the higher. –Cynthia Bourgeault

So mom and I were up at the cabin last night, and of course I woke up nice and early and sat by a little fire and watched the sun climb up over the mountain ridge. And the stories we shared, sifting through the baskets of photographs tucked into the mind and heart, is a reminder that going low, taking the lower place, the death produces life. It is never the clinging or closed fisted one who drops the pebble that ripples outward into eternity.