Thought for the Day: These are familiar words to many Christians, and they make many appearances in Facebook memes and Tweets. This is understandable in light of the positive feel they exude. As you can imagine, some people have borrowed these words to add a religious blessing to all kinds of nonsense. They employ the phrase as if it were a mystical incantation that brings strength to accomplish whatever is on the to-do list – no matter how selfish or nonChrist-like it might be. To understand these words, one must turn back a few chapters and reread the Kenosis Hymn where Paul speaks of how Christ did not accept equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself and took on the form of a slave. The word Kenosis comes from the original Greek which means “to empty,” a key concept in Paul’s understanding of Christ. The “all things” reference would be all things that resemble Christ Jesus who emptied himself of all power and privilege to come alongside others in need. That is an extraordinary suggestion – that followers of Jesus would ask God for strength to become insignificant in the eyes of the world for the purpose of God’s Reign. Of course, one is able to find that strength in the knowledge that no matter what the world thinks, we hold great significance and value in the eyes of God.
Prayer: Provide me the strength, Holy God, to empty myself of all that hinders my desire to be like Jesus. Give me the strength to do all things that will point the attention of the world to your way of love. Amen.
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