Sunday, May 13
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The Christ Hymn (2:6-11) exalts Christ for emptying himself. It is a juxtaposition of loftiness and lowliness blending into a lifestyle worth emulating. Christ took the form of a slave and bound himself to obedience to God, even when obeying God led to his death.
From a very human standpoint, this is martyrdom at its purest. He did not die for his own glory. He did not die for infamy or attention. He did not die to make a point. He died because loving people asked no less of him.
Some of us have it inside us to die for those we love. Few of us have it inside us to die for those whom we don’t know. Yet this unadulterated selflessness is what Christ modeled – what Christ asks us to emulate.
It is not practical to place upon ourselves the expectation that we find a cause to die for. But we can look inside ourselves to discover that which we would consider dying for, and then work to fulfill that mission in whatever ways we are able. Everyone believes in something outside of themselves. Everyone has the capacity to empty themselves – if only for a short time – so that the love of Christ might fill them through the work Christ has set out for them to do. Christ extends the invitation to empty ourselves so that we might be filled as we serve and obey.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Philippians 2:1-13
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.