Parents of twins know that the two-for-one special you brought home from the hospital is very special indeed. Twins can develop their own language, often communicating non-verbally and verbally in ways nobody else can understand. There is an inextricable link between them, formed in the womb, that can’t be broken.
Last week we observed this in action. We have twins who could have been modeled after Winnie the Pooh characters. Nora Jean is a Tigger: bouncy, laughing, always in motion, and happy-happy. Ryan is an Eeyore. He is thoughtful, contemplative, loves to sit with a book, and very observant of everything around him.
So Eeyore was playing with a light switch on his Gigi’s small, glass-fronted refrigerator, probably figuring out the engineering of the entire system and contemplating how electricity works. Tigger was bouncing around the room, saw her brother deep in thought and WHACK, popped him on the head. Mom disciplined her and told her to back away. So she immediately WHACKED her brother on the head a second time. Like I said, twin language.
A call to time-out ensued, accompanied by much weeping and wailing, as Nora Jean sat dutifully and contrite in her corner. Then along came Ryan.
First he tried to cheer her up with a silly little dance, but that didn’t work. So he did the brotherly thing and sat down next to her, scooting along the floor until their legs touched and her crying subsided.
This, my friends, is a perfect picture of the incarnation.
When God became the man called Jesus, he placed himself in time-out with us. We were hopeless and condemned by our own sin, with nothing to save us. Except love. God so loved the world, he sent his only son into time-out, so that whoever believes in him would be offered a get-out-of-jail free card. And eternal life.
Philippians 2 New International Version (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
God put on flesh and dwelt among us. In so doing, he experienced what we experience: pain, anger, frustration, joy, temptation, sorrow….everything but sin. This is how we can trust him to deliver us! He KNOWS US. He was us. He is always with us.
The “humbling Jesus” that is mentioned in this passage is a reminder of what God calls us to do. We are to humble ourselves in like manner, getting down on the floor and scooting over to someone in need. We are invited to offer sharing, tenderness, and compassion, being of one mind with the spirit. We don’t need to have all the answers, or even any, but God call us to sit with the hurting and offer the comfort of ‘presence.’
Where is God calling you today to simply sit with someone? To offer hope, healing, encouragement, a silly dance, or a silent witness to the incarnation? Some will do this in the hospital, some in the pew, some in the prison, some at the office, others in the High School.
Wherever that place is, go and sit. And may you receive the blessing of Eeyore, who was always happy to have someone to sit with and replied, “Thanks for noticing me.” Go, and notice someone.