Bent Into the Mind of Christ

 When we choose to “other” people, when we choose to look at others as “those people,” we are choosing to act like the world, not like Jesus. Understand, the opposite of “othering” is not “saming,” it is belonging. And belonging does not insist that we are all the same. It doesn’t insist that I am right and you are stupid. It means recognizing that, as the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13 tells us, God will send Jesus to collect the weeds at the final harvest and burn them. Pulling the weeds is not our job because we aren’t God.

I used to look at what goes on in the world as a battle of principalities. I’ve come to realize that the battles on earth are not so much a battle of principalities, but a battle between Satan and individuals. A battle implies that either side could win and that’s just not the case. Satan cannot win against God. But Satan can – and does – win against individuals.

We see this playing out in the battle over the United Methodist Church right now. Anytime a church holds a vote about disaffiliation, depending on which way the vote falls and which group the poster agrees with, I see people posting “we won,” or, worse yet, “God won.” People cheer or cry like this is the super bowl. If their “team” won they cheer God’s power and if it lost, someone cheated. It’s not the super bowl and it’s not a battle between God and Satan because God has no need to battle Satan! That would be like me “battling” a deaf-mute, mentally-disabled quadriplegic! By all means Satan is alive and well and roaming the earth, but he’s not battling God, because he knows he doesn’t have a chance in that fight. In fact, that fight is over! On Easter Sunday we will celebrate God’s victory! Satan is battling people and yes, look around. In the battle against people, he seems to be winning even in Christ’s own Church!

The very same mind that existed in Jesus, the mind that led him to give up everything he was and everything he had, is the mind that we are to have.

Sermon Audio

MSAC Bible Challenge

Sunday: 1 Sam. 21-24, Monday: 1 Sam. 25-27, Tuesday: 1 Sam. 28-31,
Wednesday: 2 Sam. 1-3, Thursday: 2 Sam. 4-7, Friday: 2 Sam. 8-12,
Saturday: 2 Sam. 13-15, Sunday: 2 Sam. 16-18