Lenten Midweek Series “At the Name of Jesus”
Midweek Lent 4: March 25 – based on Phillippians 2:5-11:
Key Phrase for study today: Every tongue confesses Jesus
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Philippians 2:5-11 The Message (MSG)
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
HISTORY OF THIS TRANSLATION: The bible passage today is from the version called “The Message” written by Eugene Peterson. Peterson wanted to make the original meaning of the words recorded in the Bible more understandable to the modern reader. “I began with the New Testament in Greek and typed out a page the way I thought it would have sounded to the original hearers”, he said.
You may find new insights in this version.
POINTS FOR PONDERING:
1.The most obvious thing to note is that the key phrase every tongue confess Jesus has been translated in a new way for our understanding. What does the phrase Call out in praise that he is the Master of all bring to mind for you?
2. What might it mean to acknowledge that God is creator and Lord of all? Is God responsible for bad things that happen – or, as Christians do we have faith that even when bad things happen (through human fault always) even then, God will make good of bad. Is that kind of faith easy or challenging? How I wish we were together to share our thoughts on this. Please keep notes of your questions if you wish.
3. How can our previous discussions about humility and obedience, and bowing to Jesus help mold our call of praise and lead us to live to God’s glory?
HYMN INFORMATION: Our hymn this morning was written by Joachim Neander, a theology student from Bremen in Germany. Well to do men studied theology, and Bremen, no exception, was not particularly ‘on fire’ with faith, it is reported. However, he and a few like-minded companions attended service at St Martin’s Church where a new pastor, Theodore Under-Eyck was presiding. The young men planned to criticize and find amusement in the service, however, the ‘earnest words of Under-Eyke touched Neander’s heart and led to several conversations with the pastor, and were a turning point in Neander’s spiritual life. He wrote many hymns, including Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, The King of Creation.
I encourage you to read this hymn as a testament of your faith and the power of God revealed in your life. Peace be with you.
Hymn ELW 757 WOV 782 All My Hope on God is Founded
1.All my hope on God is founded, who does still my trust renew;
through all change and chance God guides me, only good and only true.
Love unknown, God’s alone, calls my heart to be God’s own.
2. Human pride and earthly glory, sword and crown, betray all trust;
what our care and toil establish,- tower and temple, fall to dust,
But God’s power, hour by hour, is my temple and my tower.
3. God’s great goodness reigns eternal, deep in wisdom, passing thought;
Light and life are all God’s splendour bringing beauty out of naught.
Evermore from God’s store newborn worlds rise and adore.
4. Daily does Almighty Giver bounteous gifts on us bestow,
God’s desire our soul delighting, pleasure leading where we go.
Love will stand at God’s hand; joy will wait on God’s command.
5. Still from earth to God eternal sacrifice of praise be done, high above all praises
praising for the gift of Christ, the Son.
Hear Christ call one and all: you that follow shall not fall.
Lord, you have said, I am the Way – not so that we shall never be confused.
You have said, I am the Truth – not so that we shall have all the answers.
And, I am the Life – not so that we shall never die.
Teach me to know you here on earth –
In its tangled maze of pathways, to know you as the Way; in its unanswerable mysteries,
To know you as the Truth; in the face of suffering and death, to know you as the Life.
Thank you, Lord, for not offering us a method, saying this is the Way.
Thank you for not granting us a set of invariable propositions, saying, This is the Truth.
Thank you for not delivering us from being human, saying this is the Life.
Thank you, Lord, for saying instead, I am, and for thus giving us yourself.
-Elisabeth Elliot; the Flowering of the Soul