We all seem to want to climb higher in life.
As one year ends and another begins, we think about the ways we can elevate ourselves higher in this new year. In our jobs, relationships, whatever. We just seem to always want to go UP.
Few talk about going lower this year. Of being beneath others this year. Of going down.
But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if the way up is down? What if 2014 were a year of going down instead of up?
It just doesn’t sound “right,” does it? It goes against the grain of culture and everything we’re used to hearing and seeing.
But think about God. God, who was in Heaven (up, right?), came to Earth (down, right?).
Instead of elevating Himself, He did just the opposite. God humbled Himself. He came down in the person and work of Jesus, His Son.
I love the way the apostle Paul says it, “You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does. In his very nature he was God. But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to. Instead, he made himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant. He was made in human form. He appeared as a man. He came down to the lowest level. He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death. In fact, he died on a cross. So God lifted him up to the highest place. He gave him the name that is above every name.
“When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone’s knee will bow to worship him. Every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow to worship him. Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.” (Philippians 2:5-11, NIRV).
Paul basically tells us that the way up is down. And God modeled this in the person and work of Jesus, His Son. Jesus was in Heaven, but came down to Earth. He lived as a servant to others. He loved to the point of complete and ultimate sacrifice. Then God elevated Him back up to a place of honor in Heaven.
As we begin a new year, may we know that way up is down. May we live like Jesus, who loved and served others to demonstrate this new reality.
THE REV. JOHN KENNEY IS THE PASTOR OF THE QUEST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN MARTINEZ.