Last week Natika and I took Elise and Alice up to the northern woods of Minnesota, to the Grand Rapids area, with my mom, dad, and brother for a few days of needed rest. From here it's about a 3 ½ hour drive. If you hit the “with little ones” selection in GPS system’s “types of transportation" it scales it to about 4 days...which is helpful.
Anyway, my mom is riding shotgun, and we start to see detour signs about 3 miles from our destination, saying, “no thru traffic.” Well, we figure that since we are not going “through” to Canada or Duluth that maybe we can maneuver around the construction for the three miles between us and the cabin. At the 2-mile marker we see an excavator up ahead, next to a huge hole in the ground, surrounded by vehicles, with no way of getting past. So we backtrack and take a 25-mile, 45 minute detour after getting within .8 miles of our destination. We drove 25 miles to go less than one.
If you do not have the mind of Christ gospel realities will look to you like a detour. Philippians 2:4-11 details Christ’s attitude in coming to earth, as well as his ensuing reward. Vs. 4 starts with "Jesus". And verses 9-11 speak to the destination of the passage, which his Jesus’ glory:
He’s bestowed on him a name above every name, that every knee should bow in heaven and on earth.
But the pathway to get there, described in verses 6-8, is not what we would expect from a king who is God. It is oe of servanthood and humility:
Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant.
The command in this text is to have this mind; to see the trajectory of your life in light of his. By faith we enter into his glory, and we follow the same path as Jesus walked. Though he took on the ultimate humiliation for us, we are to receive his attitude, way of thinking, and servant-like approach to life.
And that is what baptism is: humility shining through an act that reflects an inward dependence on having been made one with him in his death and resurrection. To say it another way, to be baptized is to admit visibly and publicly that all that what you need in order to get to God is provided by Jesus.
So, Church, as you seek to think, feel, and live as a servant of God, look to Jesus; not only as your model but more so as your source of grace.