Sunday, July 3, 2011

Palm Sunday - Let This Mind Be In You

Palm Sunday 2011

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus


The short reading from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is the classic hymn of the passion of Jesus Christ. It’s also known as the Kenotic Passage, as Paul describes the example of humility – Kenosis means “self-emptying” – that Jesus gave to us in the Cross.

This morning’s readings and this week’s services are the message this morning. I just wanted to add about a two minute meditation to spur our thinking and devotion during this week as we approach Good Friday and Easter morning.

This week is the culmination of our 40 day Lenten observances. Many have denied themselves of something that they love, as a reminder of the passion of Jesus. Some have taken on new disciplines of prayer, or fasting, or reading, or servanthood. All of these are good and I want to commend you for all that you have done. I pray that your lent has been a “holy Lent” indeed.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, begins chapter two with a challenge to the whole community – one which still stands and challenges us to this day, as does the Cross itself. “Make my joy complete!” Paul says to the Church in his letter, “ by being ONE in heart and mind – by having this same love – this same self-less-ness – by having the “mind of Christ.”

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…

Paul is clear in his Roman letter that we are made new by the power of a renewed mind – it is in the realm of our thinking that much of what needs to happen can happen regarding the transformation and renewal of our lives IN CHRIST. It isn’t a magical process or a simple download of information – It is the systematic rebuilding of our thought patterns with new ones.

It is a fundamental shift away from our typical self-centeredness toward a new humility – a self-emptying humility that is active in its regard for others and in its forgetfulness of itself.

Jesus said that “no greater love has any man than this than that he would lay down his life for his friends!” This is exactly what Jesus did on that day – the day we celebrate on Good Friday. Not much was good on that day as it happened, as we have heard this morning, but what was good was what He accomplished through that obedience.

Jesus has lived before us and all men an example of selfless humility and self-sacrificial love for each one of us. I pray that this week you will take some time to re-read the accounts of His sacrifice – Come on Fri evening to experience the Passion of the Christ, in video and song and reading. But most of all, I pray that you will find a way to live out the kind of life that He lived -- “who being in very nature, God, humbled himself and became a servant – a slave – and became obedient to death on a cross.”

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus!

Amen.

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