Philippians 2:5-7 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God,did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,7 but emptied himself,taking the form of a slave,being born in human likeness. (NRSV)
[Scripture quotation from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]
“God, although in the form of God, did not think existence something to be exploited, but emptied himself of existence, and took the form of insistence, humbling himself and being content ith weakness, with the weak force of a call which comes upon us in the form of a slave.” (John Caputo)
We made Yeshua and God something to be exploited. That which we created as the super-existent God of strong theology and the equally strong and divine Yeshua were so, so far from the truth. God does not exist as a strong super-being; instead, what exists is insistence, the weak force of an unheard inner calling that continues to nudge us toward a response.
Yeshua was one of those who attended to that insistence in the name of God. Perhaps. As a result, he lived and taught a radical Way of living that turned empire upside-down and inside-out. He called it theKingdom of God. He proposed an approach to human community that turned normal expectations upside down and inside out.
The 1% at the top (the wealthy, the prominent and privileged, those in control of what has become the normalcy of civilization, those maintaining empire and its trappings) find themselves at the bottom of the barrel with the weight of the 99% pressing in upon them. The 99% who have historically found themselves to be, in the estimation of empire and the 1%, the least, the last, the lost, and the left out are finding themselves to be in a position where abundant life can be actualized, where the good life can actually be lived, where justice and salvation work for the well-being of all in society. Care, compassion, peace, justice, human decency, and love become the storylines, the normalcy of civilization.
It is no surprise, given this radical reversal (which Yeshua actually lived and taught), that we should attach the name Messiah (Christ) to Yeshua. Yeshua lived it and was executed for sedition. Now the insistence, the calling falls to us — to you and to me.
When we hear the name of Yeshua do we bend the knee (that is, respond with a life that repeats what Yeshua lived and taught) or do we continue to worship at the altar of empire in collusion with the 1%?