3/23/2015

Kenosis


I've been blessed with two wise, thinking bosses, from whom I have learned a lot.  (I omit from this post the creative, unstructured ones who honed my right brain.) 

The first, Abaja, often turned on the light for me when I was still in the corporate world. Much of how my left brain behaves today I credit to him.

The second, Leo, is also a switchman. He regularly clicks the “on” of my academic light bulb.

He opened my eyes to the word kenosis. “Emptying,” he said.

We were talking about problem students—those whose plates are full with too many issues, all big in their mind, and therefore have no space even for a small serving of classroom lessons.

“Only when one’s mind is emptied of issues can he listen again,” he said. Those were not Leo's exact words, but that was the lesson I chose to learn.

This flashed back to my first guru. Before he retired he said, “I don't want to be somebody anymore. I just want to be nobody.”  From his FB posts, I have no doubt that emptying has done him wonders. 

Christians believe that self-emptying is the ethic of Jesus. He waived all privileges in His place of glory so He could be with us, like us, on earth. This self-sacrifice was for the redemption and salvation of all humanity.

Apostle Paul in fact urged the Philippians to imitate Christ's self-emptying. He issued a call for humility and for Christians to imitate Christ. “. . . he gave up his divine privileges; took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:7-8 (NLT)

Uncanny how two bosses from two different worlds speak of kenosis—one in a corporate arena; the other, in an academic hub.  

Is it at all possible for modern man to be Christ-like and empty himself of worldly trappings and desires?

Only by grace.


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