In this familiar hymn of praise, Paul highlights humility as central to who Jesus was and is. This stands in stark contrast to the militant, powerful leaders of Roman times, as well as those of our own time. Who are the leaders we most celebrate? Where would you place them on the spectrum between pride and humility? What kind of leaders are we more likely to elect – those who exude confidence, power, and authority or those who value humility and would subject themselves to the people they serve, even to the point of death?
Jesus was sent to embody the very nature of God, which is, at its core, love, mercy, and compassion. Jesus, in a way no mere human could, lived out that mission to the point that those who felt threatened by his teaching and example decided he had to go. Even then, as he hung on the cross, he continued to love. “Father, forgive them.”
How ready are you to place a greater value on humility and love for neighbor in terms of who you admire? Where, in your life, do you struggle with pride? How might humility and obedience to Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor affect your daily interactions and reactions?
In prayer, ask for the Holy Spirit to infuse you with the will to subject yourself to humility and love.