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Palm Sunday Outdoor Service

March 28, 2021 Speaker: The Rev. Mike McDonald Series: Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation

Topic: Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation Passage: Philippians 2:5–2:11

Everywhere we look, we see conflict, strife, division and animosity. There is disunity at all levels of society, from the national level to the marriage level. Even churches and individual Christians are implicated in it. This is not new today. It goes back to the first sibling rivalry between Cain and Abel. The Disciples fought for personal prominence. Even Paul and Barnabas had a “sharp dispute” recorded in Acts 15:39.

When facing conflict, our human tendency is fight or flight.  Both of which damage Christian community. Instead, we must remain in the relationship and pursue unity. But how is this possible? 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians addressed disunity in the body (Phil. 1:27, 4:2). To the Philippians and to us, Paul writes, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” (2.5).  What follows is a poetic summation of Jesus’ incarnation and passion. 

Christ’s humility is the basis for our unity.

In taking the “form” of a human, Jesus didn’t cease to be divine. As one author put it, his “glory was veiled in humanity.” Our Lord did not cling to his heavenly status but humbled himself to serve us. He did this out of love for his Father and love for you and me. He took our sin and guilt onto his own body on the cross, which is designed to inflict as much pain and shame as possible on its victims. That cross belonged to us, but instead Jesus took it. For this great act, the Father has highly exalted Jesus’ name forever as the Savior. It is hard to remain in disunity with another person when Jesus’ passion is on our minds. When it comes to reconciliation, he didn’t cling to personal rights and neither should we.

Taking it Home: If there is disunity in any of your relationships, spend time reflecting on the Gospel and forgo your own interests for the sake of unity with that person.

More in Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation

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