To see Christ in the world

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

Though he was in the form of God,

he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.

But he emptied himself

by taking the form of a slave

and by becoming like human beings.

When he found himself in the form of a human,

he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore, God highly honored him

and gave him a name above all names,

so that at the name of Jesus everyone

in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow

and every tongue confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Phil. 2:5-11 (CEB)

“For many of us . . . the great and poignant challenge is precisely to see God on earth. . . . We labor to discern meaning in the mess of hectic days, to find God in the torque of stressful work, demanding family life, and complicated friendships. And when the days of travail are upon us, when suffering consumes our energy and despair spreads its unwelcome scent around us, how can we live faithfully before God in the chaos of God’s apparent absence? Paul’s image is apt: We see God on earth as if through a glass mirror, but darkly (1Cor. 13:12). It is not simply that what we are able to see is a mere reflection of the real thing. This reflection is also distorted, obscure, maddeningly enigmatic.

Jesus lived to its fullest our pained bewilderment. A terrible longing to see God surges through those shattering words the crucified Messiah recalled from the Psalter: ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46; Ps. 22:1). This cry of desolation, unthinkable from him who so intimately knew God as ‘Abba,’ reveals how completely Jesus is one with us in our need to see God nearby when the mists of the incomprehensible or intolerable overtake us. But more is revealed in Jesus’ anguish than his solidarity with suffering humanity. His darkening passage into death illumines with the intensity of a lightning bolt God’s pledge to be unconditionally present for us. In that molten moment, the cross of God’s most intense presence, the birthplace of a new creation. In this new creation, the One who chose to become one with us establishes the astonishing possibility of our becoming one with the risen Christ. By grace through faith, we may even share the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil 2:5) and therefore also begin to see life with the vision of Christ. As we experience a deepening participation in the mind of Christ, our capacity to see God on earth is expanded, although not without continued struggle.” ~From “Editor’s Introduction” by John S. Mogabgab in Weavings March/April 1998

Lord Jesus, You demonstrated faithfulness in all of life, even to death on the cross. Grant unto me grace and strength to follow you faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

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