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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, March 18

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.
—Philippians 2: 5-8

The same God that Jesus points us toward is reaching into our lives to give us the same Spirit that Jesus had. That’s our amazing claim. God is with us. God is in us. God is in everything. 

Even in the presence of injustice, abuse, betrayal, hatred, evil, suffering, pain and death. Still, there is nothing in the universe stronger than love. God still triumphs in the end. And that glory is accessible to us as well.

You’ve seen God’s power of resurrection in your life. We all have. Sometimes we name it; sometimes we don’t. Wherever there is a Spirit of acceptance and courage, a willingness for love and compassion, whenever we love one another, there is the Spirit of the risen Christ. 

Surgeon Richard Selzer wrote about seeing this Spirit in a hospital room he visited after a surgery he had performed:

The young woman speaks. “Doctor, will my mouth always be like this?”
“Yes,” I say, “it will. It is because the nerve was cut.” 
She nods, and is silent. But the young man smiles. 
“I like it,” he says. “It is kind of cute.”
All at once [the doctor writes] I know who he is. I understand, and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.

—from the essay “Lessons from the Art of Surgery,” quoted by Bernie Siegel, Love, Medicine & Miracles, p. 190)

That’s what God looks like. Twisting divine life affectionately to embrace humanity. That’s the human face of God, the Spirit of Jesus, bringing the power of resurrection into our brokenness and suffering. 

Wherever there is acceptance and courage, love and compassion—there Christ is glorified.

The closing prayer is attributed to St. Patrick, translated by Cecil F. Alexander, Hymn 370 in the Episcopal Church Hymnal.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.