2006-04-06 - No Reputation
For Jackie, Part 2
Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
When Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth stepped into the batters box on a baseball diamond, they had a reputation as home run hitters. These were men who drove baseballs over fences and out of stadiums, and were granted a victorious trot around the bases to tally their run. Anyone who was already on base got to cross home at the same leisurely pace. But their presence at a game demanded respect for their accomplishments. When their teams came to town, the reputations of these two men preceded them.
Frank Lloyd Wright: The name is synonymous with architecture and design ahead of the times. His homes and other works are preserved today, years after his death. When he arrived at a meeting, there were few who would challenge his assertions. Why? His reputation was sufficient that his word carried authority. His reputation preceded him.
Albert Einstein: master mathematician and theorist. He developed the theory of relativity: E=mc2 This tiny equation governs science over a very wide field. Other of Dr Einstein's theories are now being testing for the first time because we finally have the technology to do so. The man was decades, maybe a century ahead of his time in his field. When he lectured in a classroom, there was no arguing with the good Doctor. He hadn't read the book. He had written it.
Marie and Pierre Curie: Winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics for their studies in radioactivity and the applications in medicine. The were the pioneers of nuclear medicine that is at the forefront of cancer research and other exotic medicines today. Marie was denied entrance to the Academy of Science because she was both a foreigner and a woman. Her joy was "the easing of human suffering". Those who could see past their prejudices would know the work and reputation of Marie Curie and benefit.
Of all the beings in all of time and across creation that had a right to a reputation, Jesus Christ had that right. To take nothing away from these fine people - leaders in sports, mathematics, architecture and science, next to their Creator, they would bow to His greater presence. Instead of entering the world via fanfare and acclaim, He came in the womb of a poor virgin girl. He was cared for as an infant by His mother and step-father Joseph. He studied his father's trade in carpentry and probably earned a reputation there. But next to the glory and splendor Jesus Christ had set aside to come and rescue humanity, it was a pittance. And yet, the Master of Creation had deliberately left His reputation, and came to us saying, "Follow Me."
How many of us would work to garner a reputation and protect it? Most, if not all of us. Somewhere in her life, my friend Jackie had begun to learn the idea of being of no reputation in following her beloved Master. She was physically limited in how far she could walk or travel. So she spent hours in prayer for others - her family and friends, her church, people she saw on television. She would be the first to say that she was far from perfect, but in this area she exceeds most of the people I will probably ever know. But it was done quietly, from the sidelines, out of the limelight, asking for no reputation.
Lord Jesus - I thank you that Jackie is home and well with you today, walking and running for the first time in years. And waiting for her friends and loved ones, and people she has never met in person. And that she left such a legacy for us to follow. Amen.
Grace & Peace,