April 4

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Philippians 2:5-11

Paul is sharing with us an ancient hymn of the church. We don’t know the original tune, but we know the words.

Christ, who was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as something to exploit, so Christ carried out what God desires to do … to be emptied … poured out … walking in our shoes and dying our death. Not as penal substitutionary atonement, as many want to believe, but as us … standing with us in human form and teaching us how to hold our suffering without retribution or looking back, but looking forward to a world without fear or scarcity or harm.

We are called to have the mind of Christ … to stand in the same way in the world today. Paul challenges us, as the body of Christ … Christ within us, to stand with those who are separated at our borders, who are killed in our streets, who are suffering in our prisons, who are marginalized and cut off just for being who they are. We are called to both sides of the battle field as a symbol of peace … even when it kills us to do so.

Every Sunday, I ask the same question: “How about it, Church?” Tomorrow we enter this week called holy, and my question is changed a bit: “How about it, Jeff?” What changes for me this week? Where am I called to seek healing and wholeness? Where am I called to offer healing and wholeness? Where am I called to have the mind of Christ?

I am convinced that, when I follow Jesus in this way, I will glorify God and exalt Christ. It starts with humility and solidarity. It leads to death, but our claim is that death isn’t strong enough to keep God down. We are people who know the end of the story!

May we have the mind of Christ, O Lord, and may we have the strength to walk with you through suffering to the place of hope and life. Amen.

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