A Friend expressed the message below at a recent meeting of Wabash Valley Friends:
I would like to share a small part of the [Bible] reading I heard this morning:
“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 likenes. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”
Today is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before it is thought that Jesus died. I do not share the traditional Christian belief that his death was some kind of redemption from original sin, and we are “saved” and all of that—it has never made sense to me.
But I do believe that Jesus died for us. He preached a revolutionary message that was threatening to both political and religious authorities. He told us that we could have a direct relation with God, or the Divine, and that we should live a life of radical love, simplicity, and service. He preached this message knowing that he would die for doing so.
I have often wondered if I would have a fraction of the courage that Jesus had if I were called to act. At other times, I pray that I am never called to that kind of action.
So I am grateful to Jesus–for his courage and for his message of love, simplicity, and service that he sacrificed himself to give us. For certainly, that message is at the heart of Quakerism and my own personal beliefs.