- Wayne Chasney
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself... (Philippians 2:5-7a)
Jesus emptied himself.
Much has been written on what that means. Did Jesus empty himself of his divinity? How so? And if so, how was he able to do the miraculous things he did?
I don’t want to get involved in that debate just now, but another thought did occur to me here in this season of Lent. What if Jesus emptied himself of his humanness? Maybe that is what made room for God’s fullness to enter in?
There are many aspects of being human that get in the way of a full and fulfilling relationship with God. There is our selfishness, the way we often think it’s all about us, even though we know the Hokey-Pokey is what it’s really all about.
There is also our certainty, the way we are so sure we know what is right and what is wrong and anyone who thinks otherwise is obviously a fool. Obviously.
There is our tendency toward self-righteousness, our anger, our need to feel important, all things that sometime get us into trouble, and make us so very human, and crowd out God’s desire for us that we simply love.
My own Lenten journey this year is to work to empty myself of as much of this baggage as possible. I am trying to empty myself of selfishness and certainty and prejudice and anything else I find in my head, heart, or gut that crowds out my love for God and neighbor. Unfortunately, it’s not easy as those very human traits keep popping up in my life, but I have found the more I can identify them and be aware of them, the better I am able to set them aside and empty myself of them.
In doing so, it is my hope I am making more room for God’s Spirit to fill me. When it comes to emptying oneself, Jesus was a pro. I am little more than a hobbyist by comparison. Still, Jesus is the example and as a disciple I will do my best to follow him. The Good News I have discovered so far is that the more I empty myself, the fuller I feel.
May you find your path to letting God’s Spirit fill you in this Lenten season.