…. Jesus had only one “operational mode.” Everything he
did, he did by self-emptying. He emptied himself and descended into human form.
And he emptied himself still further (“even unto death on the cross”) and fell
through the bottom to return to the realms of dominion and glory. In whatever
life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of
self-emptying—or to put it another way, of the same motion of descent: going
lower, taking the lower place, not the higher.…
He certainly called us to dying to self, but his idea of
dying to self was not through inner renunciation or guarding the purity of his
being but through radically squandering everything he had and was
sitting there among the rocks
Jesus battled with himself
we sometimes think that in that barren wilderness
as he wrestled for 40 days
Adam and Eve redux
that Jesus was empty
that this was indeed paradise lost
no garden but wasteland
a place of want
but this was the Beloved Son
confirmed, affirmed, and blessed
the heavens had opened wide and Creator love
had spilled from heaven
he carried the Sacred
all that power and love
all that capacity for the miraculous
within that human frame
he had wealth and power and
that charisma that draws people
and binds them
perhaps the question was not whether he would seek those
but how he would use them
for self or for others?
was this going to be a ministry of ascension or descent?
would he build an Empire through the use of his charisma
and by the accumulation of power and wealth?
or would he build a Kingdom by
“squandering everything he had and was” (CB)?
he chose the path descending
he emptied himself (Philippians 2)
walking dusty roads
breaking bread with the
but dying to rise
from dust to dust
from dust to resurrection
descending to rise again
what do we do with our wilderness yearnings?
our hunger, our need for respect
our desire for power?
what do we do as we seek the reasonable?
a full belly, a friend, a bit of autonomy?
where do our desires take us?
into that mad climb to the mountain top
where we are controlled and seek to control?
or can we hold our gifts lightly
using them for others
having the mindset of Jesus
knowing the last shall be first
those who give shall receive
those who die shall live
those who are humble shall find glory?
what are we doing to do
with the whispers in our ears?