Reading: Philippians 2: 5-11
Paul opens chapter two by encouraging us to be like-minded with Christ. He reminds us of Christ’s love and compassion. He reminds us to think of others more than ourselves. On our best days we seek to live out these Christ-like qualities. Then comes today’s reading. The first half is like the hard days that will come just after the joyous entry coming on Palm Sunday.
Paul reminds us that Jesus gave up His place on high to come down to earth to live among us. In doing so, He made himself nothing, becoming a servant to all. Paul reminds us that Christ became obedient, even to the point of death on a cross for our benefit. Paul calls us to have the mind of Christ.
Our culture instead raises up power, wealth, and status as the goals. There are calls to attain these things almost without regard to the personal cost. To those whose mind is set on these things, the concept of being a servant is distant. The ideas of being humble and obedient are foreign.
God also calls us to lay aside our places on high – our places of privilege and power – in order to step into the lives of our fellow man. He calls us to find ways to serve one another. God calls us to be willing to sacrifice self for others. Just like Jesus, we are called to a radical lifestyle, one built around love and compassion and mercy.
To take on the mind of Christ means we lift others up instead of trampling them on our way to the top. To take on the mind of Christ means we stop and help another in need instead of staying on the road to excess. To take on the mind of Christ means we yield up our will and become obedient to God’s will. May we ever more seek to have the mind of Christ.