The gods of ancient times told humanity that they were, more or less, slaves—created by the gods to do their bidding. They made humanity to bring them food, drink, clothing and housing, and so if humanity was willing to provide for them in such ways, the gods would return the favor by giving them care and protection. It was a symbiotic, Stockholm Syndrome of sorts: “You give me what I need and I’ll give you what you need—or else.” We’re nothing more than tiny little ants to the false gods. They don’t care about us, just what they can receive from us. They’re not here for us, we’re here for them.
And that’s what makes the God of Christianity so incredible. For he is not only “a god,” but thee “God of gods.” And as such, he needs nothing from us. We cannot sustain him through our sacrifices and gifts, and yet he cares for and protects us anyways. We may be the size of ants, yet he designs each one of us and knows us meticulously and intimately. We exist because he wants us to, not because he needs us to.
And somehow, this God of gods was willing to do something that no lesser god would ever consider: Submit himself to put on lowly human flesh, born into a feeding trough to a lowly refugee family, and grow up to wash the feet of men like a common slave before being willingly murdered by the very race he created out of his love and desire.
God does not only speak poetry, he lives poetry.
This Maundy Thursday I join John Mark McMillan in singing,
“Aphrodite would not weep
Nor Zeus would suffer for the weak
But have you come to stand inside my pain?”