Sunday of the Passion: Here is your repentant attitude!


Here is YOUR Repentant Attitude

Phil. 2:5_11

In Jesus Name

May the Grace and Mercy of God, which was revealed when Christ came in human form sustain you as you, as you help others know this incredible comforting peace!  AMEN!

How does this happen?

Paul writes to the church in Rome

15  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16  Live in harmony with each other.  Romans 12:15-16 (NLT)

It is something we do here, one of the amazing things seen as we gather at the communion rail, and moments before, as we greet each other with the promise of God’s peace.

Living in Harmony, I suppose I could ask Chris to demonstrate harmonics on his guitar, to show you how a string vibrates when a string nears it vibrates at a precise pitch, without the first string doing anything.  It just happens.

Be happy when others are happy, and yes, far too often it seems like we are weeping as those around us weep, that our hearts are crushed as theirs is crushed.

This is the attitude of someone who is repentant, someone God is transforming.  It is the attitude that Paul calls us to, in His epistle.  Read again the first verse,

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had…

That sounds so hard, yet we see it so clearly, as we look to the way we respond to each other, in times where the peace of Christ must be known, where only God is able to comfort each other, and he does it through our words, our hugs, and the holding of each other, as we pray to God.

The struggle in our souls

The struggle is that we don’t always share in each other’s lives in that way.  We confessed that a few moments ago, as we prayed for God’s mercy, as we recognize that we sinned against God and too often, against each other.

Or does anyone around here want to confess something different, that they do love God with everything they are, and that they love their neighbors, even their enemies, as much as they love themselves?  Remember that passage I used, about being happy and sad with those we love, that we are in harmony with?  Well here is it in context…

9  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12  Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14  Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16  Live in harmony with each other. Romans 12:9-16 (NLT)

Big difference isn’t it?  To know we can rejoice and weep with those we grieve alongside this week; but we are to weep and laugh with those we struggle with, that we may not like, or that we’ve been angry with for 7 years…

How in the world can we obey this?  How in the world does God expect us to love this deeply?

And if we can’t, are we condemned?

John’s epistle tells us that those who cannot love their neighbor, who they can see, how can they love the God who they cannot?

Harsh words, meant to make us think, and make us walk to the cross this week with Jesus…

The purpose of God’s word teaching us that is not to condemn us, not to make us feel guilty and ashamed, but to help us realize where our hope is found; to help us realize where our power is found to endure…

To realize the very work of the Holy Spirit in our lives…
We have to realize we aren’t alone.

You see, that is the message of this passage of Philippians, one of the earliest praise songs, that was common even as Paul wrote his letters, as two of the four gospel were not even written yet.

Christ humbled Himself, gave Himself, loved us in a way one songwriter declared it to be reckless, as he bought grace for us, by allowing himself to be treated violently.

This is why every knee shall bow, why every tongue will praise and glorify Him.

This is what it means for Him to be Lord, not a Lord who desires to control us, to force us, to use every power He has to manipulate us into behaving the way He wants…

He simply uses His love…  and the more we find sanctuary in that love, the more we find rest, the more we can realize the comfort that brings peace beyond all ability to comprehend….

This is how it happens.

You see, growing in the knowledge of Jesus love, of His presence, of all that he is doing in our lives is how we learn to love each other.  It is not some complicated thing, but it is profound.  For as we are drawn into fellowship with God,  as we kneel at this rail and realize that Christ gave His body and blood for us, we can’t help but love the person next to us, and even perhaps, love the guy handing to us the precious body of Christ, and holding out the cup of His blood, a blessing meant for us,

As we praise Him for that, as we know His love, we are transformed.  This is what repentance really is, this transformation God works in us, as our minds are conformed to His. That is what it means to be repentant, to be granted repentance by the Holy Spirit.  The very fact we hurt this deeply for Sandie and for the Jennings shows us that God can make this change in us, that He has done this….for we love them even as Jesus loves them.  And as we dwell in Christ, this shared love spreads out to all…

That this mind of Christ becomes ours…. That we experience a love so profound that those who simply know it, are able to love sacrificially, are able to share the sorrows, and the laughter, of those they come to love.

This is why we rejoice and praise Him, this is why the journey to the cross means so much,  as we are comforted by Him, as we know His peace.

AMEN

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 21, 2016, in Devotions, semons and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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