December 22, 2017
Descending to Help
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
— Philippians 2:5-8
A group of skydivers jumped from a plane at 13,500 feet with the plan to meet mid-air, lock hands in a circle and then breakaway to deploy their chutes. As most began to lock hands, Kathy, the least experienced of the group, put herself into a dive to catch up. She reached them, but, unfortunately, she didn’t know how to slow down. She collided with another skydiver. The collision left her unconscious and speeding toward the ground.
Tim, the expert of the group, saw the collision from above. He made the split-second decision to rescue Kathy. He put his body into a dive, pulled up next to Kathy, yanked her parachute cord, pushed away and pulled his own cord. If it had taken ten seconds more, they would have slammed into the ground. But those ten seconds were enough. Both landed safely. Kathy was taken to the hospital where she recovered. Tim walked away unharmed.
When Tim first saw the accident, he was faced with a choice: remain in the safety of his position or put himself at risk and descend to Kathy’s position below. Fortunately for Kathy, Tim did not hesitate. His descent to her rescue saved her life.
Similarly Jesus saw our precarious situation from above and, at just the right time, left the glory of heaven to live on this earth and rescue us. However, Jesus did not walk away unharmed. He died a painful death before being raised from the dead to make our deliverance complete.
As Jesus descended and gave of Himself for us, we should give of ourselves to help others. This could mean serving in a soup kitchen or visiting with a lonely neighbor or sharing a dollar from our pocket with a homeless person who doesn’t feel seen. Descent is not defined by geographical distance but by the need that is met. When we consider how far Jesus came to live among us, our only response can be to do as He did.
Today’s One Thing
Start today with the goal to descend at least once this week to help someone in need.