Monday, April 9, 2012

Name Above All Names

The humility of God in Christ is one of my favorite themes to meditate on in worship. In my undergrad religious studies (at a liberal arts university), we took a look at Philippians 2:5-11 in the context of discussing the Christian understanding of Christ's divinity. My professor suggested that Paul didn't quite think of Christ as divine, but only that he operated as a sort of second Adam. Where Adam failed (in that he sought equality with God by eating of the forbidden fruit), Jesus succeeded in expressing humility. But by denying that Paul believed in Christ's divinity (a view I clearly disagree with but can't get into at the moment!), my professor's view only went a third of the way in explaining the humility of Christ on display in this passage.

The first step in Christ's humility is already evident in what my professor said: Adam considered equality with God something to be grasped, while Christ did not. This is a beautiful truth, but we must go a step further: Adam was a man who considered equality with God something to be grasped, while Christ was God, and yet emptied himself. Adam sought to grasp at what he could never attain, sought to steal divinity. Christ freely laid aside what was his by right.

But to fully understand Christ's humility, we must go even one more step further. Not only was Christ God who became man, who humbled himself in his incarnation. Even further, he humbled himself by experiencing the greatest humiliation that man could experience in death. He humbled himself unto death, "even death on a cross." While undergoing the excruciating pain of death on the the cross, Jesus was made a public spectacle to be mocked.

One of my pastors is currently working through the book of Philippians, and when he came to this passage he emphasized that while we have here a beautiful discription of Christ's humility, and a corrsponding exhortation to worship him as the Name above all names, the primary purpose for which Paul writes these words is to implore his readers to imitate Christ's humility: "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God..." This song went through a number of editing phases, and the final addition was the bridge, in response to this point made by my pastor. I wanted to include some words that the church could sing as a declaration that we would choose the way of Christ's humility, that we would choose to make ourselves servants, having his same attitude, and therin finding a true fellowship with our humble savior.

But our humble Savior is now highly exalted. And so we do declare his Name to be above every name, and we look for the day when every knee will 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."

Verse 1:
Jesus, You are God among us
C Em
You are God's own radience
C Dsus D
Light of the world
Jesus, how You condescended
C Em
Holy God of heaven
C Dsus D
You are the Lord

Am7 G/B C D
You became nothing, broken to love me
Am7 G/B C
Even to death on a cross
Am7 G/B C D
Tempted as I am, You were obedient
Am7 G/B C
Faithful and true Son of God

Chorus: G D/F# Em C
You are the Name above all names
You are the One Ancient of Days
You are the One my heart will praise
Jesus I love You
At Your Name every knee will bow
All of creation will cry out
You are the One my heart will crown
Jesus I love You

Verse 2:
Jesus, You took on my weakness
Made in human likness
Servant of all
Jesus, risen and victorious
Glory in the highest
You are enthroned

Bridge: G D/F# Em C
Jesus I love You, I want to be like You
Having this attidude, I'm serving beside You
Jesus I love You, I want to be with You
Having the attidude, I'm dying to find You

No comments:

Post a Comment