2 minutes reading time (413 words)

Humble like God

Printed below is one of the readings we would have heard in church yesterday (had we been there). It's the start of the 2nd chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians; in it he makes what we might call the definitive link between the humility of God-in-Christ and the way Christians should treat one another. The second half of the reading is laid out in verse form because most scholars think it is part of a hymn of the early church.


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.



These few lines express pretty much everything we need to know about what God has done in Christ - his birth, death, resurrection, ascension and ultimate lordship. But the grit of it is humility, and the gritty bit of our lives is where the humility we're called to meets our selfishness and pride. A colleague once complimented me in public on my humility - and immediately I swelled up with pride! As soon as you think you're humble, you're not. Humility isn't something we achieve; it's what happens when we are caught up in something so huge that, for a moment, we stop worrying about how good we are or how well we've done, and see our true scale and status - small, feeble, yet loved and cherished exactly as we are.   

Alone - or not?
Empty and silent

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