17 June 2019
St. Paul commends the mind of Christ. ‘Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ.’ One of the most beautiful Biblical poems follows. It’s a celebration of the work of Christ, his magnificent story of salvation – the exalted beginnings before time, the wonder of the incarnation, the humiliation of the crucifixion, the glory of his final exaltation. (Philippians 2)
For some, the hymn has been seen in the context of baptism. Perhaps it was a baptismal hymn. In either case, it illustrates not how we should live our lives as much as what happens to us when we are ‘in Christ Jesus’.
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul is talking about baptism when he says, ‘We have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life’.
Being in Christ Jesus is different from some moral obligation to be selfless or to be obedient or even to be good. It is to become a part of that extraordinary spiritual experience of him who did not exploit equality with God but emptied himself, took the form of a slave, suffered and died.
If this is our experience then the pattern of our life will not be reduced to a set of moral obligations but enriched by the love and the life of him who is able to map out for us a new life which is uniquely ours albeit shaped by his incarnation.