Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Walking Humbly with God
As I read the three verses of this passage from the Apostle Paul my mind first went to Matthew 25:45 where Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” These words have been front of mind since I was a child and have guided me throughout my life. On every street corner, in every home, in every country there are human beings living at the margins that Jesus identified with very closely.
I think in contrast Philippians 2:6-8, in the context of the complete Philippians passage, brings a different perspective. It is one thing to be able to offer and treat others with compassion when your life has been blessed with abundance and resources are not an issue. But what if we, who are called to be like Jesus, actually walk the walk as a servant, and strive to be selfless in all situations, to call out and right an injustice, to love and reward kindness, to value others above ourselves, to put others’ interests before our own, and to walk humbly, at all times, with God?
What would it look like in our democratic capitalist society if we were more humble as a community, a state, a nation? Arguably, the United States has one of the most, if not the most, successful societies in world history. Yet wealth is concentrated in so very few and we leave so many people behind with no opportunity or hope for a better life for their children. “What would Jesus do” is probably the right question to ask ourselves. A simple question, yet I think profound when unwrapped in depth.
I have felt closest to humbly walking with God when I step out of the church campus and go out into the community to work with people devoted to helping others help themselves. There are so many organizations of this nature and I have been blessed to be part of several but I think the characteristics of these groups can be found everywhere there are people who look to God for inspiration and hope. The people involved in these programs come from universities, secondary schools, government and/or not-for-profit agency staff, elected officials, churches and many other people from across our community who work together selflessly, unconditionally, and often sacrificially to help many gain their footing and then join them to show the path to self-sufficiency, faith, and paying it forward in gratitude. I think this is what Jesus did for us when he walked this Earth as a human being, and how he would show the love of God today.Dave Ryan
Prayer: God of tomorrow, bless us this day to take the necessary action that reaches out to our community. Let us walk with you, finding opportunities to give beyond ourselves. Help us see ourselves as servants, Your servants, O God. Amen.