Today’s Bible passage is one of the most profound passages in the New Testament. It’s one of the Lectionary readings for this important day in the Christian calendar, the start of a dramatic week in the life of Jesus.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mind as Christ Jesus:
who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5-11
This passage is central to Christian belief and practice. To be ‘united with Christ’ goes to the very heart of salvation and what it means to be a Christian. It’s a relationship with Christ as Saviour and Lord, one which places on us the joy of following and the responsibility of living like Jesus. Loving God and loving others in Jesus’ name, with no discrimination or favouritism.
Heavenly Father, help us to live our lives with humble hearts, reaching out to our neighbours in love, and ready to serve suffering humanity. Amen.
Note: I’ve written elsewhere on this blog about Palm Sunday:
Palm Sunday (Sunday 10 April 2022) is traditionally the day in the Christian calendar when we think about peace, and especially the peace that Jesus came to bring. Jesus rode into Jerusalem fulfilling the words of the prophet Zechariah:
See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9b
He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Zechariah 9:10b
This year I’m featuring one of the Lectionary Bible readings for my Sunday devotional, so this post is to provide links to previous posts I’ve written about Palm Sunday:
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” John 12:1-8
In this chapter of John’s Gospel, two stories are developing. More people are praising Jesus, yet the authorities are increasingly determined to arrest him and put him to death.
The passage above is the story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet. Although they were reclining for the meal, it was a dramatic gesture. Mary was acting with extravagant abandon and devotion; it was a very costly sacrifice.
This sacrifice foreshadowed the death and burial of Jesus as he continued his journey to Jerusalem, described as his glorification. May we follow Mary in her self-sacrifice, and Jesus in our lives.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:12-17
On this Mother’s Day I share one of my favourite Bible readings. I love the picture of qualities we can wear like individual clothing garments, but then we put on love as an overcoat. This binds them all together in perfect unity.
May these qualities be seen in our lives, our relationships, our families, and our communities. Let’s wear a garment of love every day.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Note: In this Bible reading, the psalmist longs for God’s presence so vividly that he eats, drinks, and sees God’s goodness. Though worn out and harassed by the wicked, he sees God, and this animates him with praise. God becomes his life.