Today, we look at a Day 2 text from this year’s summer curriculum, “Holy Trinity, Wholly Love.”
Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
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.
If you’re looking to understand why Jesus is so important, you needn’t look farther than this reading.
Today’s scripture reading comes from Day 2 of our summer camp curriculum. Day one focuses on God the Father and day two focuses on Jesus the Son. You might not realize it from our English translation but Philippians 2:6-11 is actually an old hymn, often called the “Christ hymn.” It’s a song about Jesus and what he has done for all humanity.
One of the most important things to understand is that Jesus is both fully God and fully human. He wasn’t sometimes God and sometimes human. He wasn’t God pretending to be a human; and he wasn’t a human pretending to be God. He was fully both: God and human. It’s a mystery of our faith.
This Christ hymn shows us why it is so important that Jesus was both God and human. It shows us how Jesus’ divinity and humanity work together. Jesus doesn’t “give up” his divinity but rather “empties” himself. He chooses not to act like God but rather to become a human being. Jesus doesn’t come blasting into earth like a king or warrior; he is born weak, as a baby. Jesus’ divinity certainly comes out in his miracles, his transfiguration, his resurrection; but he also lives the human experience: eating because he’s hungry, suffering pain, and even dying a shameful death.
He did all these things for two main reasons. First, so that humanity might better trust that God knows what it means to be human. God knows because God has lived it in Christ Jesus.
More importantly, however, God became a human in Christ Jesus so that all humanity might be redeemed. In Jesus, the divine and the human are brought into perfect harmony. God and humans, who have for so long been divorced from each other, are again united. Also, in his death and resurrection, the divine Jesus brings the human Jesus through death and into resurrection, and in doing so, all that is divine (God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) carries all that is human (that is everyone) through death to resurrection.
It all may sound very technical, but it’s also important: without Jesus, we have no real connection to God. God doesn’t not understand what it means to be human and we have no access to God.
Praise God in Christ Jesus that we have such an intimate connection to the divine!
Jesus, in you we find our salvation. You have become one of us; you know our struggles. You have brought us back into relationship with God; we have peace and grace. Praise be to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for all that you have done for us.