The way up is down

Remember the old line about the aliens from space – you know, the ones in a flying saucer with green scales and antennae – where they arrive on our blue planet and ask that great philosophical question:

“Take me to your leader.”

So who would you take him to? The president of our country? A five star general? A captain of industry? Oprah?

In our day and age leaders are those who have their hands on the instruments of power. They bark out orders. They make demands. They enforce their will.

Sometimes they write autobiographies about how they rose to power, how they beat others out of that position by the force of their personalities. Sometimes this attitude seeps into the church, too, and it causes division.

But Paul tells the Philippian church how Jesus came to power. He was “highly exalted,” was given a “name that is above every name,” and we are told that “every knee will bow” to him (Philippians 2:8-10). Even presidents, captains of industry, five-star generals, and Oprah.
And how did he get to this exalted position? By humbling himself. In God’s universe, the way to glory is humility, the path to leadership is service, the way up is down.

Down on our knees. Down in our attitudes. Down to serve. If the death of Jesus does not humble us, nothing will. On Sunday we gather as humble sinners and servants, deeply in need of what he offered that day. There is no place for pride, or demands to have our way. At the foot of the cross, the only place to go is down. Down to our knees in gratitude.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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