Sunday, November 14, 2010

Philippians 2: unity in the Church

First, I apologize for my GEPC negligence. I was sick this week. But also just lazy. Neither are really good excuses. I've missed it. 

Philippians 2 is one of my favorite chapters ever--verses 6-11 in particular. 

 Who, being in very nature[a] God, 
   did not consider equality with God something to be grasped; 
7 but he made himself nothing, 
   taking the very nature of a servant, 
   being made in human likeness. 
8 And being found in appearance as a man, 
   he humbled himself 
   by becoming obedient to death— 
      even death on a cross!

 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
   and gave him the name that is above every name, 
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
   to the glory of God the Father.

I memorized verses 7-8 when I was a young girl but seeing them in context is incredibly powerful. Verses 6-11 were required memory for everyone in the worship arts program at SAU--under the belief that our lives as worship leaders ought to be lived in complete humility. 

We are called to be like Jesus--not just to read these verses and be moved by the humble choices of the Son of God, but to be driven to action. Jesus was willing to become our only hope of accessing the Father--by coming to earth (that had gone from perfection at creation to sinful and polluted), in the form of human being (GOD in the form of the created), lived the life of a servant (the lowest status of human life), and obediently followed his Father's will to the cross (a sinless man dying a death of the worst criminal). FOR ME. For YOU. 

But back up few verses---"your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (which is described in verses 6-11.) woah. Talk about high calling. 

Back up a bit more--to the beginning of the chapter. Paul is beseeching the church body to live in unity, in love, all for Jesus. How often do you encounter conflict in the church?--most likely over issues that should not be issues at all. Gossip over this one thing this one person overheard this one time. Assumptions in the reasons for changes made by the leadership. Hurt feelings and no willingness to resolve conflict. I can imagine Paul's frustration with at least a handful of the churches he's shepherding. THE POINT IS JESUS, PEOPLE. It's not about YOU. or ME. We are to go out of our way to live in complete humility alongside each other; to pursue our own interests last, to rid ourselves of our desires and pursuits of selfish gain. We are to be like minded--to be focused on Jesus only. And subsequently living out the purpose of Jesus with selflessness and love. Because the point of your entire LIFE is Jesus. 

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