Sunday, February 07, 2010

How far til we get there?

Today's message comes from the book of Philippians chapter 2, verses 5-11. The passage actually formed the basis for an early Christian hymn. I can never read it without experiencing a sense of amazement..

Made Himself.


And we're to have the same attitude that drove Him to do that?

This may be the most counter cultural passage in the NT. To ignore all those nagging insecurities that drive us to put on masks, to layer up, to choose not to hide behind all those supposed separating differences like age, race, gender, wealth, rank, status - and instead give everything we have openly, honestly and sacrificially to God and to each other?

We're not there yet, that's for sure.

The Christian community - the Church - is supposed to be made up of people who are not living for themselves but for Jesus and their neighbors. Who when they look to the right and left don't see people clothed with earthly status but with the love of Jesus Christ. That's across all social walls - all of them.

Yet most churches are made up of remarkably homogeneous people. Very few are able to successfully break through the barriers and unite people across society's fences. We tend to want to surround ourselves and our families with those who are like us. That's been one of the most frustrating things to deal with as a pastor. When you do break into groups that haven't been reached, some of the folks who are already there expect the newbies to act like church people or church kids. Or when some from across a social barrier do come, the fellowship that builds intimacy can be slow to form. Why? Because we really want it our way.

He made Himself nothing.

We have a long way to go.

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