You stood far off, not aloof but above,
And from the heavens looked down with pity
At workers toiling in futility
Made the fatal choice to descend, for love.
And step by step you practiced kenosis,1
Removing the diadem from your head
You donned a servant’s uniform instead—
A mysterious reverse theosis.
Setting aside your black robe and gavel,
You set plowshare to soil, sowed the seed,
And we the soil, received what we need:
The gracious intrusion of your shovel.
Yet it was you who submerged ’neath the dirt,
You, whose burial healed the world’s hurt.
- Kenosis is a Greek word which means “to empty out.” Paul uses this word in Philippians 2:7 to describe the way Christ humbled himself by exchanging the “form of God” for the “form of a servant” in the incarnation. The word form, in this context, refers to an outward manifestation of an inward reality. In the incarnation, Christ did not give up any part of his divinity; he did, however, give up the visible glory of his divine nature by taking on human flesh. Just as a king who puts on the garb of a servant remains fully king, so Christ who puts on humanity remains fully divine.
© Andrew Menkis. All Rights Reserved.
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