Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Cycle of Kenosis Continued...

I've been thinking about this idea of a 'cycle of kenosis' and one practical example that came to my mind was the event of a potluck dinner. I know this is a fairly mundane and common occurrence, but I think that within the event of a potluck are the elements of what I am trying to express in this idea of a 'kenosis cycle'. I've been thinking that perhaps the tell-tale sign of a kenosis cycle is a unique by-product, something that wouldn't "normally" happen.

Again, the notion of kenosis involves making the well-being of others priority. This is evidenced in the event of a potluck dinner because each participant considers the others and provides for others. But what concerns me in the notion of a 'cycle of kenosis' are the unique effects that might occur when a community of people all make the well-being of other a priority (i.e. reciprocate and repeat so as to create a cycle). This is evidenced in a potluck dinner as all of the participants reciprocate by considering and providing for others.

So what are the kenotic effects of a potluck dinner? Abundance! When a miniature cycle of kenosis occurs in the event of a potluck, there occurs the gift of abundance. I have been to my fair share of potluck dinners and I can tell you that there is always leftover food. This is what happens when human beings choose to put the well-being of others first. (And indeed this is a very realistic reality in our world today)

This causes me to wonder if this is what Jesus meant when he said, "“Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields." (Mark 10:29-30) Perhaps Jesus was talking about what could happen if we simply put the well-being of others on par with our own. Perhaps Jesus was talking about a cycle of kenosis.

I can't help but also think of the early church community who seemed to exemplify this 'cycle of kenosis' by making the well-being of others priority: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. (Acts 2:42-46)

If you have ideas of what a cycle of kenosis might look like, please feel free to comment.

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