Defining Jesus

October 8, 2020
Good afternoon,
“Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
                 to the glory of God the Father. ”     Philippians 2:6-11

This might be one of the earliest faith statements in the life of Jesus’ followers. It seems to be a song, or at least poetry. Paul and Timothy do not quote anyone here, but it brings both Jesus’ humanity and divinity in this writing. The first few verses speak about the human nature of the work of Jesus, and the next few verses speak about Jesus being the Christ, and divine.  Early believers would study for a year, and were often baptized on Pentecost Sunday. This might have been something they affirmed when they began their new life.

Jenni Yantzi invited people on Facebook to finish the following statement, ” God is __________.” All the answers might be connected to this early church poem. We live our lives and state our faith, coming out of this short statement of belief. We do not know, but maybe there was one of the believers in the Philippian congregation that had met the human Jesus. Maybe he or she wrote this poem. All would be followers of the Risen Christ. 

So, where does your faith reside ? Do you move towards Jesus’ humanity or his divinity ? Or, do you hold them equally in tension ? I love the four Gospels, so I think I lean toward the humanity of Jesus. I love his parables and miracles. I enjoy the conversation and relationships he has with his disciples. I am in awe that he is quoted as saying, ” My God, my God why have you forsaken me”, and ” Father, forgive them , for they do not know what they are doing .” Both of these sayings are while he is on the cross !


Thank you coming to live among us.
To feel your skin
eat the fish,
touch the sick,
voice your parable
sstand on the beach,
make breakfast for your friends.
Thank you for rising from the depths of darkness.
O Risen One, 
Send the Spirit of justice and peace to surround us now.   AMEN