“In humility regard others as better than yourselves.” Church leaders praise “servant-leadership,” and nowhere is its tension and cost clearer than in Philippians 2. Verse 3 in particular is a tall order!
The challenge is particularly stark in light of, at this writing in early 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine....
Lord Jesus Christ, you loved us even to death on a cross. Help me to love like you, in a spirit of humility that knows myself as a beloved child of God. Amen.
For the second time this year, we read the story of the Israelites complaining in the desert about their lack of water, only to see God provide a miraculous spring. The psalmist reminds the people of the many powerful deeds performed by the Lord, including leading them through the sea out of Egypt and providing them water from the rock. Paul emphasizes to the Philippians the need for humility and unity. In quoting the earliest known Christian hymn, Paul encourages them with the example of Christ, who gives up all his rights for the sake of others. In back-to-back encounters with religious leaders, Jesus evades an attempt to trap him in his words and then teaches that true obedience is shown not by our speech but by our actions.
Read Exodus 17:1-7. When have you tried to “do it all”? How can admitting your limitations help you lead?
Read Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16. Recall times when you have known God’s presence. How might remembering and retelling these stories shape your faith?
Read Philippians 2:1-13. How does your life speak of God’s love for you and for all humanity?
Read Matthew 21:23-32. How have you created your idea of Jesus in your own image? What would change if you found your identity in Jesus rather than creating Jesus’ identity from your own?
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