Today’s Scripture: Philippians 2:1-11
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NRSV)
Even in imprisonment, Paul wrote to his beloved Philippians to stress the joy they would bring him by living in the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. Paul, though, recognizes they still require nurturing and reminds them that selfish ambition or conceit could undermine unity and overpower what he was trying to instill about Christ’s humility and the need to consider the interests of others. To affirm his message, Paul beautifully presents in Philippians 2:6-11 the stages of Christ’s being and his impact on humanity.
While reading this passage, I suddenly thought of Marcel Marceau, the famous French mime. I recalled the brilliant silence of Marceau’s performances and wondered how he might have transformed these words that describe Christ before, during, and after his incarnation, his humble yet miraculous time on earth. How might Marceau have depicted the horror of the Crucifixion, the power of the Resurrection, and the exaltation of Christ’s existence? I imagined my own “choreography” with untrained, silent movements and expressions to implant the meaning of these verses into my mind to make them mine.
Paul, too, wanted the Philippians to have a lasting imprint of Christ’s essence in their minds so that “…every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father.” Paul surely knew that thoughts of Christ’s influence could be grounded in the silence of their minds with the hope that these ideas might then ignite actions and words where justice, service, compassion, and love would not be silent but resound through time eternal.