Dayton (5) fell on the stairs at school this morning. He was going up the stairs! Eventually his brain and his feet will consistently work as a team to accomplish tasks that you and I take for granted. After helping him deal with his physical and emotional trauma, the line running through my mind was: “falling down while going up.” It immediately reminded me of recent blog entries and the passage previously quoted in the book of Philippians. It is worth quoting again:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (2:5-11; NASB).
Consider that passage as it is rendered in The Message:
“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.”
I recently wrote:
Christmas is the historically accurate account of a glorious King entering His inglorious creation. It is the celebration of Deity dressing Himself in humanity. It is also a gift-wrapped opportunity for us to respond appropriately to the person and works of Jesus Christ. The Lord came low that I might be raised high. However, that raising has a very inauspicious beginning. It starts with the bow of the knee. In other words, any future exaltation results from present humility. The Bible repeatedly stresses the importance of our knowing and loving Jesus Christ. Allow me to put it in these words: This is the Christmas to willingly bow the knee and confess Jesus Christ is Lord.
I’ve often heard the adage “Wise men still worship Jesus.” While I appreciate the sentiment, I prefer, “Humble men still worship Jesus.” This afternoon I attended the funeral of Dr. Malcolm Fary. He was a humble man who worshipped Jesus Christ. Allow me to share just one example. In 1993, I taught the adult Sunday School class at Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Dayton. “Mac” was in my class. Although he held a Ph.D and had taught for many years, he sat in class each Sunday with a desire to know God more intimately. His hunger was contagious, and his timely comments added rich flavor to the class! As this day comes to its conclusion, I find myself wanting to follow in Mac’s footsteps. I desire to fall down (in humility, in worship) as I go up (grow closer to God, grow closer into the image of Christ)! Join me in falling down this Christmas!