The End Of Selfishness1
Selfishness is the natural human condition under the rule of sin. While it's not a good thing, it is not entirely a bad thing either. Scripture appeals to us to repent and believe the gospel as a benefit to us, so that we will be saved and not lost. "What does it benefit a man if he gain the whole world, but lose his soul," asks Jesus.
Selfishness also makes the world go 'round.
According to Adam Smith, the great economist and moral philosopher, "Man's self-interest is God's providence." Because we love our skin, our bellies and our creature comforts we work, and God blesses human commerce with a rich harvest. But the system only works when left alone, which is rarely. Manipulators who wish to live on the labor of others have always interfered, slowing the system down, or even stopping it dead in its tracks, as under socialism, communism or totalitarianism.
But is it ever possible to be selfless? Only for the person who is not infected with sin, and that leaves only one: Jesus himself.
We learn this from a segment of 1st century liturgy where we read:
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 made himself nothing,
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.
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Here we learn what it means to love God with our whole heart, and soul, and mind and strength. Here we learn the meaning of liturgy. Not liturgy the noun which we employ to speak of the format of our worship. But liturgy the verb: to liturgize God.
To liturgize God means, "to empty oneself altogether of oneself, and give oneself altogether over to God." This is what Jesus did, and what we also do in, with and through Christ. For the present, because of flesh, we do so imperfectly. But in heaven, when we will possess glorified flesh like that of Jesus, we will do so perfectly: but still in, with and through him for he is our eternal Lord; and we are one flesh with him.
The closest we come to this in our present existence is when we open our lips, and our hearts to receive his true Flesh and Blood in Holy Communion.
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