Maundy Thursday, April 2, 2015

Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

How appropriate that this is the reading for Maundy Thursday, the day Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples knowing what lay ahead of him. Jesus gives us a model of servanthood by washing the disciples feet just before the Passover meal. The washing of feet was done only by the lowest servant who washed away the grime of the city streets from a guest’s feet.

But Jesus is not just setting an example of servanthood and humility: this act signifies the washing away of sins through his upcoming death on the cross. As we celebrate this day that communion was instituted, let us be reminded that Jesus gave up his position in Heaven beside God, emptied himself and became a servant to all mankind through his willingness to die on the cross so that we might be saved.

That indeed is something to be grasped! Oh how we look forward to the day when every knee will bow to Jesus not only on earth, but also in Heaven and under the earth; and when every tongue will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!

Father in heaven,
your son humbled himself by leaving his heavenly throne to take on our human nature and to become a servant to all through his death on the cross. Help us to remember the example Jesus set for us his last night on earth that even though he was God in flesh, he was willing to serve. Help us as Jesus’ followers to be servants and willing to serve in ways that will glorify our Father God and point people to the Lord of all. Amen

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus!! Jesus!! Jesus!! I don’t know if you could feel the power in His name when you first read it but take a moment to reread this passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians and say it to yourself again.

Jesus!! Jesus!! Jesus!!

Can you feel it now? Let’s just walk through this passage and really marinate on what said. He “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” He emptied himself, which the Greek here means; to empty, deprive, to be hollowed, of no value. Jesus came and “humbled himself” for us. The same Jesus who “God has highly exalted,” and at His name “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess … is Lord” humbled and lowered Himself. There is a greatness here that cannot be put into words. There is a value in Christ’s name that brings “glory to God the Father.” Can you feel the power in His name as you read this passage?

It seems as though our culture has tried to minimize the power of the name of Jesus; that our society is attempting to do the complete opposite of what Paul proclaims here to the church in Philippi. Good Friday is tomorrow and Easter two days later. An amazing opportunity lies ahead for us to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Our relationship with God is not just an inward experience but an outward expression and sharing. May God reveal to each of us a person(s) and an opportunity to share this great news with, so they may “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

Heavenly Father, I worship and proclaim that Jesus is Lord. Lord show how to and with whom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Give me strength and courage to continue to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.