Paul on Paul – 10th April 2022

Palm Sunday
Phillippians 2:6-11

His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are; and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is little I can add to this. This passage when I hear it – as we do as part of the liturgy every year – give me shivers.

Imagine a God who is so powerful and so perfect that his very nature was ‘being’ itself.

Imagine a God who, despite that, loves humanity so much that he gave up that perfection and power to, not just become like a human – but to become human.

Imagine a God who does that, but is rejected, challenged, teased, mocked, scourged and denied…but carries on anyway.

Imagine a God who is abandoned by even his closest friends and let down by even his most convicted followers.

Imagine a God who is caught by those who mocked him, and treated in the most humiliating way known to the world at the time. Tortured in a way reserved for the worst of the worst.

Imagine a God is killed for the sake of humanity.

Imagine a God who dies.

Imagine a God who goes through all of that, but still cannot be overcome by death and instead is able to overcome death itself. Who is still above all other things. Who is still to be lauded and praised by all created things.

We do not need to imagine that God. We know him. This is the Gospel. The Story St. Paul tells us in 6 verses and 2 sentences is the Story of the Gospel.

And what a story it is.

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