this post is a continuation of our solidarity series in which we are exploring the life and teachings of jesus in relation to his commitment to the Other.
for those interested in measuring the orthodoxy of such an adventure, click here to see my theological non-negotiables.
in the meantime… i’ve got fragments from a few verses.
at the risk of exposure :: i sometimes will skip through scriptures when they’re quoted with an internal arrogance that subconsciously tells me ‘i already know this.’
i fear i may not be the only one.
if you suffer from the same deceptive pride i sometimes find in me, i encourage you to take the time to read through these words from the scriptures – three selections from the sacred text which most deeply inform and influence our christology –
solidarity in philippi ::
‘Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbor’s interests first.
In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with his attitude in your hearts. Remember ::
Though he was in the form of God,
he chose not to cling to equality with God;
But poured out himself to fill a vessel brand new;
a servant in form and a man indeed.
The very likeness of humanity,
he humbled himself,
obedient to death-
a merciless death on the cross!’
solidarity in the fourth gospel ::
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it… The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world…
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth… From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.’
–john 1:1-5, 9, 14, 16-18
solidarity in colossae ::
‘He is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the eternal. It was by Him that everything was created: the heavens, the earth, all things within and upon them, all things seen and unseen, thrones and dominions, spiritual powers and authorities. Every detail was crafted through his design, by his own hands, and for his purposes.
He has always been! It is his hand that holds everything together. He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, the first of those to be reborn from the dead, so that in every aspect, at every view, in everything – he is first.
God was pleased that all his fullness should forever dwell in the Son, who as predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by his death on a cross as God’s means of reconciling to himself the whole creation – all things in heaven and all things on earth.’
there are, of course, nearly endless other examples from the life and teachings of jesus of his solidarity with the Other.
the samaritan woman in john 4 (who worshipped YHWH on the wrong mountain, in the wrong way) or syro-phoenician woman in mark 7 (who didn’t worship YHWH, and likely worshipped someone else) or the centurion’s servant in luke 7 (who worshipped caesar) or the prostitute that jesus allowed to wipe his feet with ointment and tears, or the lepers he touched or the tax collectors and sinners he invited to the table to share a meal… and the list goes on.
a question :: shouldn’t we allow the scriptures to inform us in our own identity as christ followers?
do these passages – in the depth and richness with which they speak of christ – truly influence how we treat the Other? or are we more greatly influenced by other sources? should that change?
what do you think?