My surround sound system is less captivating to me than it was at one time. Now I have to turn it 3/4’s of the way up to get the audio fix that I am looking for. If I could get the 3/4 effect at 1/4 I would be happy.
In a 1984, now classic mockumentary called “This Is Spinal Tap”, band member, Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) gives the director, Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner) a tour of the band’s stage equipment. He points out a particular amp that has volume controls that can be turned up to “11” rather than a normal “10”. This was a basic power appeal as though higher numbers on a volume control indicated that more volume could be extracted because of the gradation of the dial.
Guttural grunting Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor personified the typical power lust that controls so many (men?). It seems so silly but this male caricature is actually grounded in reality. In the church, we love power as well. If there is a ladder to climb, rest assured, someone with a power agenda will storm it two steps at a time and crawl over as many bodies as they have to for the top rung.
Then there is Jesus.
Check out Philippians 2. He was rightfully God and entitled to all the trappings. Instead he looked for a ladder but there was no “up” from where he sat. And He was as eager to climb down, as we are to climb up.
We want to make “something” of ourselves. Paul writes in 2:7, “He made himself nothing.” Jesus laid aside all His Power and “became obedient to death, even death on a cross”. (2:8) That’s God’s incredible love.
I don’t love people that much. Neither do most of you who read this today.
It is forever true that following Christ requires so much more than not doing bad things. It is about living . . . living your life to make others bigger . . . to make sure that the impact of your life will take someone else all the way to “11”.