Hello and Happy Easter to all our friends and family around the world! I wanted to take a second to share something that God has been talking to me about.
Phillipians 2:6-11 says, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I can't get past the fact that Jesus was God, sitting in His rightful place on the throne of heaven. Then out of love for us, took the ultimate downgrade and went from God to human birth, into a poor family in a barn. He did not, and still does not owe us anything, yet he gave up everything that He had going for Himself, and because of His love for us, He decided to offer us a second chance. A supreme sacrifice for an undeserving mankind to have a second chance. How is this even a choice for us? How arrogant are we that we have to "decide" if we should take His second chance offer?
On our first trip to Jinja, a few weeks ago, we attended Pastor Henry's church, the Life Giving Streams Tabernacle. During the service, Henry introduced us and talked about the work that we were participating in, while in Uganda. Henry said something that made me feel uncomfortable. He said that I was a doctor in the US, and that in the US, physicians are among the highest paid and respected professionals. He continued to say that I had "humbled" myself to come to serve the people of Uganda, without pay, and the only reason that he could think of was because I loved the people of Uganda. Now part of what he said is true, but some things we could debate. What made me squirm was the picture he painted of me was similar to that of Christ in Phillipians 2:6-11. That is not something that I would ever feel comfortable with. I don't think that I "humbled" myself at all. In fact, I (and our whole family) have been treated with more honor and respect than would ever see (or deserve) in the US. Sometimes, despite our humble surroundings, we have to work at humility here. Henry was right in that one of the reasons we came was because of our love for the people of Uganda. It was also because of our love for the One that humbled Himself to become human, then sacrificed Himself on Good Friday.
John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
I awoke to this sight this morning.
I was reminded that the story of Christ did not end with Him being humbled and sacrificed! The great Highway, Oklahoma philosopher, Brad Allen, preached a sermon called "It's Friday, but Sunday is coming"! The Christian band Tree63 made Brad's sermon into a song "Sunday is Coming".
Have you ever had to miss a big ballgame that yOUr favorite team was playing in, and recorded it to watch later? When I do this, I have to make extreme efforts to make sure that I don't see the score, hear the score or even see someone's facial expression that knows the score. Why? Because if I know the outcome, I don't have to fret over the ending as I watch. There is no suspense there. One time I almost lost my Christian witness as Jill had hosted a shower at our house and the boys and I had gone to the ranch to do some work. I recorded a game, with the thought that I could watch it when I got home (skipping commercials and half time of course). When we got home, just a couple of ladies were remaining, and I purposefully said that I did not want to know scores or anything about the game because I was going to watch it. Some woman, that I did not even know, piped in with "well they were behind early.." I shhhhhed her. She continued. "but my husband told me...." I all but had to throw her out of my house. Quite embarrassing. I digress. All of that to say how Easter gives us hope and confidence because we know the final score. Our lives are not boring or easy, but we should not have the same suspense or angst that we might if the game was playing out in front of us.
I want to celebrate Easter because we know that Christ Arose and His spirit lives in those of us that believe. He came to us humbled, but ended up the hero! I have included a video for your enjoyment. The camera work is not so good, as I was using my iPhone in church, but I think that you will recognize a spicy version of an old hymn.