Today's Lectionary Text
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
The theme for our 2019 Annual Conference is Therefore Go: Serve Others. In the washing of the disciples’ feet, Jesus reminds us we are to serve others. In this passage from Philippians, Paul encourages us to serve humbly, and to have the same mind as Christ.
Since time travel and mind reading are still science fiction, we have to look at how Christ lived out his ministry to have the same mind as him. Perhaps one of the most striking differences between Jesus and us is he was never stopped by the boundaries we draw between people.
It seems we humans are constantly dividing into “us” and “them” in seemingly endless ways. Jesus saw everyone as God’s children. One of his disciples was a tax collector. In a patriarchal society he honored and respected women. He preached and healed among those whom the establishment said were outcasts. He ate with Pharisees. When he healed, it went beyond healing the body or the mind. It included an invitation back into community.
To see others as God sees them, not as the world says we should see them. To serve humbly, not for our own glory. It is a tall order, and we will fall short. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. As I was reflecting on this, an unattributed quote popped up on social media. It said when a baby takes her first steps and falls on her bottom, we celebrate the steps and don’t criticize the fall.
It is easy to see where we stumble and fall short. As we live into the call to serve others, I invite you to take a step from where you are now towards the example Christ showed us. If you make the step, then land flat on your backside, remember you took the step. And our God is gracious; God will be there to help you up and encourage you to take one more step.
-Pastor Michael Turner
Auburn Kansas UMC
Prayer for Reflection
We are your children, O God, and sometimes as we try to walk in the path of your Son we wobble and stumble on the way. Help us to see everyone we meet as one of your children, and to forgive each other, and ourselves, in those moments we fail to live after Christ’s example. Amen.
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