As we have done throughout previous Lenten and Advent seasons, we are again blogging through the Lectionary readings in this Lenten season. This year, however, due to our travels in Central Asia, we have asked a number of guests to blog for us. These guests are individuals who are influential in our lives and work. We're honored to share this space with them-and with you–in this season of reflection.
A reading from Paul's epistle to the church at Philippi.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11 (MSG)
What would you do?
Imagine yourself as the son or daughter of an extremely wealthy person. Someone with immense influence. You are their son or daughter. You are in a situation where everyone knows who you say that your father is. It is not secret that you claim to have access to all this wealth and influence. But, they don't believe you. In fact, they really dislike you–some flat-out hate you.
You can, with one quick comment, make it undeniable who you are. You've done some great stuff already. You helped to have a few ill people cured of their illnesses. You've used your resources to give sight to a few blind people. You provided wine for a big wedding. You paid your taxes. You even got so mad about how the poor were being treated when they tried to come to worship, that you destroyed the tables and products of the merchants.
But, they don't believe that you are who you say you are.
One quick phone call, and you can have your father–and all his money, influence, and power–standing right in front of you.
Or, you can be killed.
What would you do?