You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had

Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11

As we draw this year of blessings to a close, I’d like to return to what seems to me to be an essential component of each beatitude, one that was incarnated most fully in Jesus himself, and that is humility. It runs like a golden thread through all we have been reflecting upon. There are more beatitudes hidden in Scripture than those we find spelled out so clearly in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. Sometime you might enjoy searching for them. The two that touch me deeply are where, firstly, Jesus is teaching through word and, secondly, by example about humility. Both concern a meal, the first about who should be invited when we throw a dinner party, the second is Jesus’ mind blowing action at the last supper with his friends before he dies when he washes their feet. In the first Jesus says that if we invite those who cannot ask us back – the poor, the lame, the blind – then we will be blessed. In the second he says that if he, their Lord and Master has washed their feet then they should wash one another’s feet. “This is the path of blessing,” he says.

Both of these are an exhortation to follow his example, a plea that is picked up by Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi urging them to have the same attitude as Jesus had. In fact the only way we can become beatitude people is if we go the way of self emptying – which is not the same as self abasement. Knowing our need of God, able to let go, embracing meekness, focussing our desire on right relationship, inclining our entire being toward mercy, cultivating a purity of heart, choosing to be makers of that peace for which the whole earth yearns and being willing to pay the price for such a journey – none of these are possible without that humility that comes from knowing that the God whose greatness and goodness we cannot find words to articulate holds you and me in his steadfast love, is for us, alongside us and within us. Our only response to such immeasurable love is to seek to be, however stumblingly, beatitude people who are salt for the earth and light for the world.

Suggestions for Sharing:

  • Throughout the year which beatitude spoke most to you? Why?
  • Which one did you find the most difficult? Why?
  • Which one have you resolved you will ‘pick up’ and seek to live out?