Going Deeper 03.25.2021

The second reading for Palm/Passion Sunday... Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In order for us to better understand what Paul's getting at in this text we need to look at the two preceding verses:  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  For us to have the 'same mind' as Christ Jesus, we must develop of lifestyle of servanthood.  This is, of course, very challenging as it goes against our corrupted sinful nature and runs contrary to what the broken world and culture around us promotes.

The model Jesus provides in one which chooses to let go of power and prestige in favor of service and humility.  This upside-down mindset might strike someone who is not a believer and follower of Jesus as being foolish, but we come to understand that it in truth reflects the highest wisdom.  It also reflects our original created form... being focused outward rather than inward... in the image of our Creator.

Jesus' example would be extreme: "he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross."  This is the "greater love" He had spoken of earlier.  Now we who continually experience His profound love are moved by love to seek to become more and more like Jesus, more and more moved by love to service.  And we discover this to be the truly good life--the best life possible.

Finally, never forget that we cannot do this alone.  We need to seek the power of the promised Holy Spirit of God, and we need one another.  That is at the heart of being a family in Christ-- seeking God, loving and supporting one another, and urging one another on to greater and great Christlikeness, to greater and greater love.

With You in His Love, 

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"