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unityneighborOne of the most powerful texts in Paul’s letters for me is chapter 2 of the letter to the Philippians. He is urging the people of Philippi to have the same mind, the same way of thinking and acting as that of Christ who let go of being God in order to become like us, that is, fully human. This pouring out of self (kenosis) is essential to the Christian message as we attempt to imitate Jesus in his way of being in the world. It is definitely counter-intuitive for those of us who live in cultures that are based on the drive to succeed which often (although not always) means having more possessions and power than others. In contradistinction to that goal, Jesus spent himself in preaching and living totally toward the goal of unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God. As we all can attest, this loving living takes a lot of letting go – of our own desires and prejudices, our own comforts sometimes, in order to move toward harmony with others and in our own being. Love is truly the motivating force of this kind of living. Love is the wisdom of Jesus.