Thursday, February 7, 2008

Some Thursday thoughts for ewe...

I have been on this kick as of late on pondering the question of what does it mean to be fully human? Maybe this is where I always need to be, but anyways that is where I am now.
As I look at Jesus and Paul the theme of power and status is woven through the texts. So my question for the week is this: As the people of God, what should our approach be when we encounter the issue of power and status?

Look first at Jesus: Paul says in Philippians 2 that Jesus lived with all status and power in heaven and he made himself nothing taking the form of a servant, being found in human form and became obedient to death on a cross. We see it lived out in John 13 Jesus shows what it means to be in the reflection of God by taking a towel and a basin and begins washing his disciples feet, though they are against the entire notion of Jesus doing so. We also see it in the life of Paul. Here is a guy in Philippians 3 who is the Hebrew of Hebrews, a lawyer of lawyers and he says "all my status and power is worthless for the sake of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." In the Graeco/Roman period, to be human was to have status, to have power, to have knowledge, and to have wealth and property, It is interesting two thousand years later it is still about status and power. Paul confronts the status and power of his time and says in 1 Corinthians 4 when speaking to them we are fools, you are wise, we are weak you are strong, you have honor, but we are low, we are persecuted but we will endure, when we are reviled by you, but we will bless you. Paul is saying there is a new way to be human and it does not look like what the dominate culture thinks it looks like. It is the reality that there is strength in weakness, there is wisdom in foolishness, there is riches in being poor, there is joy in suffering, there is pleasure in giving, there is daily dying and rising, dying and rising, dying and rising, because we know and understand that there is life through death. Think about how beautiful that really is. It is one gigantic paradox that exist in, and we are able by the grace of God to live it out. Think about how many people that you know that live for status and power, yet for some reason or another God lets us see a bigger picture of what our lives are able to look like outside of status of power. As children of God we want to get it, we want to live it, but like the the disciples James and John we want to sit on the right and the left of Jesus. In the end we are so drawn to the status, the power, the fame, the glory, and the American dream. It is deep inside us, we fight it, we massage it, we hate it we welcome it. So where do we go from here? It is interesting that Jesus says to us give in secret and pray in secret, don't trumpet hows great you are but allow your lives to point to me. Remember I shaped you out of the dust, I gave you the gifts that you find your identity in. I am Lord and you are not. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul speaks of the final trumpet that will sound, not for us and our glory though we will have new bodies and be like him, not for the new earth that will have new glory, but the trumpet is for the arrival of our Jesus who makes his way back to earth to be with his people once again and forever. Let us be thankful for his grace and let us be sober of our calling as servants and slaves to the most high God. My hope is that our hearts, minds, and lives may continue to mirror the face of Jesus, the perfect example of what it means to be fully human:)

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