April 7

Philippians 2:4-11

“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.” vss. 5-7a

In the first creation narrative of Genesis the writer noted that humans were created in the image and likeness of God–they were wired through their DNA to be connected to the Divine Presence. In the second creation story we are told that those humans craved to be more than they were, that they wanted to be gods, and that as a result, their God-connection was damaged. In his letter to the Philippians Paul describes a new creation in which Christ Jesus denies those divine aspirations and embraces humanity. That happened through a “self-emptying,” which is not a giving up of miraculous powers, but a reconnecting with the divine image spoken of in Genesis. Paul further advises his readers to have the mind of Christ and do the same thing. The self-emptying is not so much a surrender as it is the joyful embracing of our full humanity. In other words, we are invited to become what we have been created to be, and to quit trying to be more than we are. As Paul says in other places, in Christ we are a new creation, and can relax into being ourselves, even if that doesn’t match the cultural models we try so hard to imitate. And in our restoration, blessings abound!

Thought for the Day: What blessings come from being ourselves?

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