Monday, February 13, 2006
Putting Others Before Myself
Our Pastor at Christian Assembly has started an amazing sermon series on the fruits of the Spirit. I loved his opening sermon on the topic as he pointed out to the congregation that it is not about "being" more loving or patient or humble, but rather, it is about remaining in the Vine (John 15) and abiding in Christ. Encountering Christ every day in individual and communal situations is an exciting and wonderful way to live life to the fullest. Seeing each contact with students, friends, family, and the person on the street as a contact with Christ, reminds me of the humanity of Christ, which is something we all too often forget about in our Churches. We can easily lift Christ up to this other-worldly God who has very little interaction with his disciples. Yet, all throughout the Gospels, we are reminded of the incarnation of Christ in human form. The implications of this are astounding, and Eugene Petersen writes well on this topic in the Third part of his book "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places." Needless to say, yesterdays sermon was on the first of the fruit of the Spirit, love. Mark chose the text of Philippians 2:1-11 to discuss the humble nature we must take on in our lives with our community and the world around us. Phil 2:3 stuck out as a glaring reminder of how little I truly love those around me... "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." I am excited to passionately engage Christ in others around me this week as I try to flush out this verse. It is so easy to "love" the person who has the same political views as I, the same personality, or the same interests as I. It will be a wonderful ride this week as I try to love each of the 50 plus students I will be advising beyond myself. Thank God for the example and teaching of Christ that I can shoot to emulate through the power of the Holy Spirit.