that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We come to the end of the song in today’s text. We began at the top left point of the \/ at the throne of God. We end at the top right point of the \/, again at the throne of God. We behold the glory of it all at the very bottom, at the foot of the cross.
The mind of Adam is precisely the opposite. We begin at the bottom left of the /\ pattern. Though given everything, even the image of God, we determined to grasp for ascent to equality with God. We reached the top with a great tower designed to make a great name for ourselves. The result of all our grasping was a great falling down the other side. The /\ forms a dead-end cycle of determination, disappointment, and despair. The \/, quite the opposite, begins with discontent, leading to a descent into our broken ways where we reach the bottom and find surrender and dependence on God. The way back up is one of being lifted into delight in God and onward to true devotion to others.
Remember what happened at our Babylonian building project: “That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:9).
See what happened in today’s text. The great gathering has already begun at the cross, eyes lifted to the throne of God, every nation, tribe, and tongue making the declaration, “Jesus Christ is Lord”! We do not return to speaking the same language, but we do learn to say the same thing.
Jesus Christ is Lord. This is not software-agreement language. This is the totalizing, all-consuming truth of the universe. That’s not enough. Lest this truth, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” become our personal, everyday, walking-around lifestyle, it means nothing. These are not mere words, but a manifesto. These words must be parsed, translated, conjugated, and implemented to the most granular detail of our lives. Jesus Christ is Lord!
To the extent that I continue to run the pattern of the world /\, climbing my own mountain for my own glory (no matter how much it may benefit others), I am a living denial of the lordship of Jesus Christ. As I follow Jesus downward into the valley of the cross, the valley of vision, he will lift me back up the other side, and, for the joy of the cross, I will run in the way of the \/ again and again and again.
Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, whose name is above every name. We want to follow him yet we cling so tightly to ourselves. Come, Holy Spirit, and give us grace to let go of ourselves that we might follow Jesus with our whole hearts. We are weary of our own determination to make something of ourselves. We are ready to surrender all to you that we might become who you made us to be. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
- How do you relate to these contrasting patterns of the /\ and the \/? Does this resonate?
- Is your discontent with the status quo of your life at a place where you are ready to put your feet on the path of descent?
- Where are you challenged in your everyday life to live out the confession “Jesus Christ is Lord.”
For the Awakening,