I sit at the kitchen table this morning surrounded by books–a devotional, a Bible, a study for home group (Timothy Keller’s The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness)–and a bunch of used tissues. Fall is truly here and with it have come my seasonal allergies for the various grasses that are blooming to spread their seeds before winter arrives. Because of the setting I just described, my head is full of both burgeoning wisdom and ideas as well as snot. Forgive me if the two become muddled together.
And fullness is the very thing about which I want to write. In our home group gathering last night, we discussed our human need for significance, our desire to fill ourselves with purpose–often at the expense of filling ourselves with God. Even under the guise of religiosity, we seek to be special. What is my calling? What is God’s will for me? What special gifts or talents or works have been prepared especially for me to do? Me, me, me. Self runs from our hearts as the water runs from my rummy eyes. And still, yet, and always–IT IS NOT ABOUT ME.
Jesus got that. He didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he willingly let go of his elevated and deserved status. Why? For God’s glory. Did it diminish him? No. Did it destroy him? It looked as though it might, but no. It was in letting go of the position he genuinely had a right to hold that he became “the image of the invisible God.” Isn’t that incredible? His self was effaced but then God’s was magnified! And by that self-forgetfulness “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus.” He filled Jesus up with all his fullness! Can you even imagine such satisfaction? No more longing, no more hunger, no more pride or self-elevation required. Jesus let it all go, and God lifted him up.
And, yes, that same fullness is available to us, to you, to me. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God in Christ, and Christ in me. If I will let go. If I will pry my grasping fingers from what I think I deserve. Oh to be full like that!