Editor’s note: This Lent season, Bread Blog is running a series of devotionals written by staff, alumni, and friends of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
By Yunha Hwang
As a woman of color and a foreign woman in America, I sometimes feel alienated and lonely. Also, when I see the politics of a newspaper, I feel distressed occasionally. However, once I reflect on Jesus’ life, I am able to learn the way of Jesus that leads me to struggle to find hope a way from helplessness.
In today’s scripture, Philippians 2, Paul encourages believers to have the harmonized mind and the same love, being united. The same heart that Paul emphasized is grounded in humility and care, as you can see from the following verses. He says, “whatever you do, you should be humble and care about others as much as you care about yourselves.” This humility and caring is the heart of Jesus. Paul then explains the mind of Christ Jesus. Jesus is the image of God, but he did not “take for granted” equality with God. And he became a human by taking the nature of a servant. Besides, he died on the cross. The Creator became a creation and died; that is out of our understanding. But there is a reversal: God again raises Jesus who humbled himself. And God gave Jesus the highest place and honored his name above all others. In the end, God was glorified through Jesus.
I believe that we, who struggle against injustice, unfairness, and distress, can learn the sustaining strength for the struggle through Jesus and his life. The sustaining strength is not an excellent strategy or a high-ranked authority, but humility and caring. I notice that Jesus’ humility and caring begin with a heart that does not remain in its place. Jesus, who gave up the heavenly throne to take care of the world, encourages us not to take for granted our rights and what we have. This humble heart helps us turn our sight from ourselves and others. Furthermore, the humility extends to caring for the communities and people that suffer from injustice and discrimination. Jesus’ humility and caring is his own way of resisting the evil and suffering in this world. We will be able to heal the wounded world little by little through humility and caring Jesus taught us. Moreover, God has lifted up those who become humble and care for others and established the kingdom of God through them. It is grace and hope for us who sustain the struggle.
Yunha Hwang is a master of arts student at San Francisco Theological Seminary/Graduate Theological Union.