Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Preaching Incarnation (2)

Preachers sometimes seek to sum up a Scripture passage by a metaphor. As I wrestled with Phil 2:1-11 I have been challenged about describing the downward movement in Jesus' incarnation that must precede his exaltation (verses 9-11). Though there is much rich theology here, for the apostle it's the self-emptying humbling (verse 8) that seems of greatest consequence in this context. For ( in addition to much else) Christ's incarnation, models the way that Christians "in humility should consider others better than themselves" (verse 3).

I wonder about ESCALATOR as a metaphor - as mass people-movers going up and down? While most people scramble to go up in the world, Jesus takes an entirely different route. Perhaps there is something to this picture?

At the moment I sum up this passage's main impact: by God's grace what my sermon will SAY is: As Jesus refused to use his divine power, but humbly became nothing - a servant prepared to die for his mission - so those united with him should follow his way of humility.
And by God's grace what my sermon will DO: challenge us together to join with him in his downward movement of humility.

I still have much work to do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a great mental picture. I see an escalator going up full of hurried people with their Starbucks coffee cups, brief cases and tailored suits, talking on their cell phones about their most recent successful investment. Next to them is the the down elevator with only one person on it. He looks different as he politely smiles to everyone, making serious eye contact. In their minds, they can't figure out why he's going down. Their world is up.