A Letter to Joan Osborne – Today’s Youth Devotion

A Letter to Joan Osborne

Bible Reading: Philippians 2:3-7

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God . . . he made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.   Philippians 2:5-7


I know it’s been a little while since you wrote your hit song, “What If God Was One of Us?” But I wanted to write you today and share some great news with you.

I know a lot of Christians were upset by that song, particularly by the words of the chorus:

What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make his way home?

Now, I should tell you that I’ve never been much of a slob. I’m a God of order, not of disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). But you should be really excited to learn that the words of your song actually came true! God did become one of you (John 1:14)! I had the same thought you did, only it was about two thousand years ago. I left my throne in heaven and was born as a human baby. I lived thirty-something years, then I died on a cross so you could be forgiven and saved from the punishment your sins deserved.

You see, Joan, God is “one of us”! Your wish came true—long before you wished it. And I want to tell you something else, too, Joan: When I humbled myself and left heaven for earth, I showed everyone that humility is a godly trait. I humbled myself, so it’s a good thing when humans are able to put aside their pride and become humble. In fact, the biggest problem most people face today isn’t believing that God was humble enough to become a man—it’s humbling themselves enough to trust me with their lives. That’s a problem for them—and for me, because I love them. I love you, too, Joan. I just wanted you to know that.

Love, Jesus Christ

REFLECT: Have you ever heard Joan Osborne’s song “What If God Was One of Us?” If so, what did you think when you first heard it? How do you think Joan might respond to Jesus’ letter? How do you respond to Jesus’ letter? Why (according to Jesus’ letter) is humility right? Do you think you’re able to put aside your pride and become humble? How can you show a Christlike humility today?

PRAY: “Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself and coming to earth as a man so that I could be forgiven and saved from the punishment my sins deserved. Please remind me that humility is right because it’s like you. Help me also to be humble like you.”