Location, Location, Location (of a favorite BIble passage)
Devotional /Discussion thought of the day…
1 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2 I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3 Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: 6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. 7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. 8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross. 9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. 10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, 11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:1-11 (TEV)
“How often you will find yourself inundated, intoxicated with God’s grace—and what a sin if you do not respond!” (1)
The Carmen Christ – the great hymn of the faith that is found in the passage from Philippians above (verse 5-10) is one of the most memorable scriptures in the Bible. It was our epistle reading last week in Church, as we considering the Passion of Christ entering what we call “holy Week”. Truly indeed is our way to the cross such a blessing, such a thing to stand in awe of, and it makes such a difference.
Yet this great hymn, the majestic and glorious passage cannot be removed from the context in which it is written. We are called to have that same attitude towards others, that Christ has towards us. We are called to serve, to love, to show mercy, to work towards being of one mind.
All things that are counter to our culture. This kind of radical humility and mutual submission (see Eph 5:21-6:9) is often lost in our independent and driven culture. And while we are good at realizing often the narcissism and self-centeredness is simply another name for sin. Even to hear that – we rebel a little – but to hear the call to lives of deliberate simplicity, that we can use our resources to help others? What about our comfort, what about what we’ve earned (and therefore deserve?)
I love and hate that the new pope has taken such a thing seriously, that he is setting an example of it – within some incredible constraints – the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. I love it – because I know how much the Church ( Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist) need such encouragement, and such and example. I hate it, because it confronts me with my own wealth not being used well, my own self-centeredness, and such a confrontation leads to guilt or shame, or
Could we live in the shadow of the cross, not just gratefully soaking in the mercy and love, understanding the passion of Christ for his people, and see the model for our own lives, lived as He commissioned them? Could we imitate the suffering servant? The one who humbled himself and died….for us?
Not by our strength, not by our wisdom… but by being inundated, and yes intoxicated, with the very love of God! For then, there is no option but to respond!
May we seek His mercy and grace, and as we focus on His love, and as we do – may others see that He is present in our lives!
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3551-3552). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.