Monday, June 6, 2016

What's The Point?

In the first 2 verses of Philippians 2 Paul asks 4 questions and gives one bit of advice.  The questions and advice ask an overreaching question ... "If you say you belong to Christ and are unchanged, what's the point?"

Paul isn't asking "Do you take your denomination seriously (a question I will certainly ponder next week at Annual Conference)?"  He isn't asking do you take your membership in a particular congregation seriously?  He isn't posing the question "Am I dutiful in being a good churchman/churchwoman?"  He is asking, do you take what Jesus said seriously.

There are four things Paul is saying ought to be fruits of our relationship to Christ and those with whom we worship.  The first is encouragement, both given and received.  The second is comfort in God's love.  The third is fellowship with God and the people of God.  The fourth is having a tender and compassionate heart.

In one of the congregations I served I watched as I saw an attitude of judgment of others (not themselves), an atmosphere of sternness, a sense of fellowship that was very exclusive and a lack of compassion toward those who had messed up in life.  It was a hard place to serve because I realized very quickly that these people attended church but had no clue (after years of hearing the Word) about being the Church.

Thank you for being people who see that attitude (Chapter 2 of Philippians is all about attitude) and actions express how we live in Christ and how Christ lives in us.  May we never fail to encourage, comfort, fellowship and have Christ-like compassion!

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