Ran across this interesting insight in an essay about the first century church that underscores the upside-down nature of Christian spirituality:
"The cross and the death of Christ became cornerstones of Christian spirituality in that they made clear from the start that the way of God passess through the "narrow gate" (Matt 7:13) of suffering, humiliation, and service, and not through domination and power. Only when Christians are "weak" can they really be strong (2 Cor 12:10); capacity is identical with incapacity, with the loss of one's soul (Matt 6:39), of one's very life. Christian spirituality was based on accepting as one's own the very scandal of the crucified Son of Man, an acceptance that could lead to suffering and death, to martyrdom. It was not, therefore, an easy and uncostly spirituality."
From John D. Zizioulas, "The Early Christian Community," 24 in Christian Spirituality Vol. I, Origins to the Twelfth Century (edited by Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff, and Jean Leclercq; Crossroads, NY: 1985)