In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
As we honor our military veterans this weekend, it is fitting to say we honor those who have “served” our country. There is an honor and virtue in uniting together to serve a cause that is greater than each of us. It takes an act of humility, of cooperation and teamwork, of offering up our own personal sacrifices for something that is a much greater and nobler objective. It’s such a dramatic reversal of what we so often see in our world today, the “what’s in it for me” attitude.
Serving others, sacrificing one’s own personal regard for a greater cause. Why that’s somewhat Christ-like, isn’t it?
Paul describes in this passage of Philippians the kind of servant that Jesus embodied. Christ, though being in the very nature God, made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, was born in human likeness, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. He emptied Himself of his divine privileges to be born as a helpless baby in a dirty animal stable, to be raised totally dependent on his parents. He had to walk to get around or ride a mule. His muscles got sore. He got tired and needed sleep. He had human emotions for which he was subject to.
And we are told that we are to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” It describes what those who have served or are serving in the military have accomplished. Serving by humbling themselves and putting on true humility for others. Sacrificing all the conveniences and privileges in life that we cherish for a greater cause.
We pause to honor our military veterans on this Veteran’s Day. Because they have answered the call to service. And by so doing they possess the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. For true servanthood belongs to those who have truly accepted the self-giving of Christ as the model for Christian behavior.