Our Lenten Devotion for Saturday, March 26, 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.
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:7-8 NIV
Jesus’ way is the way of powerlessness, of dependence, of passion. He who became a child, dependent on the love and care of Mary and Joseph and so many others, completes his earthly journey in total dependency.
(from Walk with Jesus by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 34Henri)
St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who … 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” (2:5-7).
However many times I have read Paul’s words, I have always struggled to comprehend their meaning. Humility is not the way of the world. Giving up prestige and power in order to take on the human condition with all of its shortcomings and weaknesses really doesn’t make sense. Then to make matters even more difficult to comprehend, Jesus starts out life born.
Apologetically, I don’t remember who the author of the definition of humility, but it inspires me. “Humility does not mean thinking less OF yourself, but instead thinking less ABOUT yourself.” I am reminded that humility is not about humiliation, but instead about empowering Christ-like care and service for others whom God has put in our path. Thus, once again, Jesus way of life calls us to emulate him in service to God.
I invite you to consider how humility has directed actions in your own life. Have you been empowered to live out God’s call?
Dear Lord Jesus, at Christmas we sang of you coming to earth as a little child. Now, having been drawn to the cross, we become children, humbled by the wonder and power of your love. Thank you. Amen.