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“Downward Mobility”

Our Lenten Devotion for Monday, April 4, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:3-5 NIV


“Downward Mobility”

“Downward mobility is the divine way, the way of the cross, the way of Christ. It is precisely this divine way of living that our Lord wants to give us through his Spirit”

(from The Selfless Way of Christ by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 39Henri)

We like to hear stories of upward mobility inspiring accounts of people who have risen from the depths of poverty and deprivation to achieve notable success in society, business or government. But the was of the cross is the pathway of downward mobility. The Son of God emptied himself of his divine prerogatives as God’s equal, so he could be like us in every way – except without sin (Hebrews 4:15). For the sake of our eternal salvation, Jesus even experienced hell for us so he might raise us up to a new life with him that lasts forever. Christ has lifted us up so we might spend our life lifting others up. This is the pathway of humble sacrificial service. It is the way of the cross the way of Christ.


Friends –

We often think of “downward mobility” as a negative situation, but Nouwen reminds us that it is the way of Christ, who was humble and offered all of himself – even his very life -- for others. Through that sacrifice, each of us is blessed and called to do likewise. And having been blessed in that way, we are called to bless others.

--Pastor bea


Son of God, you emptied yourself so that you could fill us with power from on high. May your mind be in us as we empty ourselves in the service of others. Amen.

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