As Christians, we’re called to think outside the box. To think outside of the current trends and rhythms of our culture. This is because we now have the “mind of Christ,” which doesn’t think in terms of rights, fitting in or being relevant. Jesus couldn’t care less about that sort of thing. Instead, he’s in the business of the lasting and the real, and usually turns what the world cares about on its head and shows us just how superficial the world’s values are. A great example is found in Philippians:

     “In humility, count others more significant than yourselves…Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:3-7).

The world tells us that we are the still point around which the turning world revolves, but the heart of Jesus tells us to “count others more significant than [ourselves].” This passage shows us how Jesus, God and Creator of the universe, took a lowly form in order to do his work among us. He didn’t do his thing with fanfare and intimidation like the ancient god Zeus announcing his presence with thunder and lightning (so typical of a man-made god!); instead, Jesus came as a weak and humble child whose claim to fame was that he died.

And it was through his dying–not through his conquering, manipulating or subduing–that we were given life. He “made himself nothing” so we could be redeemed and have an everlasting relationship with Him. If Jesus becoming ‘nothing’ was a necessary part of our being awakened to new life, then what does his sacrifice mean for us?

If we are to be “little Christs,” then Jesus is calling us to surrender those things the world tells us we need to be successful, to be human, and to be good. It might not make sense to us that by relinquishing what we feel makes us most ourselves we can actually revive a dying world, but that is the calling Jesus beckons us into. This is expressed beautifully in one of my favorite Michael Card songs, God’s Own Fool:

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong.
And so we follow God’s own fool
For only the foolish can tell –
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well.

Ashley Carr

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