Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
assuming human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God exalted him even more highly
and gave him the name
that is above every other name,
so that at the name given to 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.
As the Lenten season comes to a close and we prepare to enter the dark days of Holy Week, we stop for a moment to reflect on the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians and this creedal hymn he offers. It is a profound reminder that this is not a God who shies away from suffering. This is a God who, in Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit, knows the humility and frailty that comes with human existence; a God who knows the very worst and the very best that humanity has to offer, and loves us in spite of it all. This is the Divine experience that we confess and profess every time we gather as a community of the faithful. “I believe” we proclaim—even though sometimes we’re not so sure if we believe—and we trust that God hears us, knows us, loves us. This God who empties themself so that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit, and marked divine forever.
—Lisa Raylene Barnes
Have mercy on us, O God, and renew us in your gracious spirit and in the name of the Risen One.