Listen to this daily worship
Philippians 2: 1-11 (NRSVA)
1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Growing up in loyalist west Belfast the primary slogan I heard and saw painted on gable walls was, “No surrender!” Surrendering meant defeat, giving up, losing.
The path Christ Jesus chose was surrender that we might walk the path of Life and Love.
Was He defeated, did He give up, was He a loser? Most definitely not - and I don’t mean His resurrection victory, I mean the way He chose to live and interact with others.
He chose to live BIG – He lived beyond His means! He lived extravagantly! He fed 5,000 men – not 5! He cast out a legion of demons not 1! He ate with Tax Collectors and Sinners by the dozen, He welcomed the very expensive FULL jar of perfume poured onto His feet, He was the Friend of women and children – plural – in a culture where women and children were worth no more than a teapot. His life screamed irresponsible fiscal behaviour, but He wasn’t concerned, because His poverty is like no other poverty, His poverty is God’s abundance.
Today, I invite you to take a few minutes and surrender yourself again to our Lord, if the path you are currently walking is not the road to Jerusalem then surrender that to Him, and look for that road where you can live as He lived, trusting His and your identity as God’s Beloved.
Extravagant God, bless me with Your abundance, as I surrender again to Your poverty. In the Name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
LENT FOCUS 3: PATHS
This week we are thinking about paths. A reflective activity you could try this week is getting a piece of paper and drawing an outline around each of your feet. Reflect on the past year of your life and the year ahead. In one foot outline write some of the places you’ve been with God in the past year and then on the the other foot you could write about where you are going to be with God in the year ahead.