During Lent, one of the things we acknowledge and celebrate is Jesus’ willingness to *empty himself completely in order to take on human form. In the Greek, this is called kenosis, literally a “pouring out”.
I may be stretching the point, but there seems to be a lot of this kind of behavior almost everywhere I look. People who are giving up almost everything in order to care for others, to live righteously for the sake of God’s world. Forsaking some (or all) of their well-being in order to help loved ones, to engage in just causes or to change the world around them. Sacrificing quietly (and perhaps invisibly) for the sake of something more important than themselves.
As I said, the examples seem to be everywhere. Grandparents who in their retired years babysit or raise their grandchildren. Moms and dads who parent children with special needs. Older adults who take in their aging elders. Zealous activists who work tirelessly to bring justice to others. Families who care for their chronically ill children or adults. Relatives of incarcerated men and women whose relentless love shows itself in daily prison visits. Pastors who share the deepest burdens and woes of congregation members. Teachers who face the anger and frustration of parents with understanding and grace. Simple living advocates who forego needless or wasteful luxury for the sake of Earth’s sustainability.
Jesus took on human form as part of his redemption work. Jesus’ kenosis continues to ripple throughout society each day. The result: Those who are persistent in their self-giving sacrifice are also part of God’s larger rescuing salvation. This is an amazing and heartening truth about our society right now, and it all started with Jesus.
Perhaps kenosis continues because of you…?
* In one of the first hymns of the early church, the writer extols Jesus’ self-giving actions: “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-11 NRSV)