Sunday, April 5, 2009
Philippians 2:5-11 / Matthew 26:35-75; 27:1-60
How do we measure a thing’s worth? We might see what it is made of or mark the craftsmanship that went into its design. We may also take note of the condition it is in, how well kept or damaged it is. Many things, most perhaps, are nonetheless priced far more than any of these observable features would warrant. Rather, we know a thing’s value principally in the price a determined and committed buyer is willing to pay for it.
How, then, do we measure the worth of our brothers and sisters, our kith and kin of the human race? How do we know the worth of the unkempt woman, wrinkled beyond her years, begging for spare change at the street corner? How do we know the value of the confessed abuser of children sent away from our midst, out of the sight, minds, and perhaps even prayers of the faithful? How do we calculate the cost of a child who has taken up a pistol against the very people with whose children he had played only a year before?
Do we judge them by their productivity or by what they have made of their lives and their lives have made of them? Or, do we dare to assess their worth on the basis of what God was willing to set aside out of love for them? Christ Jesus, who though He was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied Himself ... And appearing in the form of man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross.