Monday 14 September 2009

Bible Book:

"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus." (v.5)

Philippians 2:5-11 Monday 14 September 2009


MP's expenses, huge financial bonuses for bankers, scandals inthe Church... The lives of public figures today all are scrutinisedas never before and tend to be found wanting. In a time ofrecession as many lose their jobs, as taxes go up, as financialpressures put a strain on hard-working people, the public see apicture of those in leadership living it up as never before, and atour expense! The story goes that leaders in public life havebetrayed the public's trust by preaching one thing and doinganother; that their lives lack integrity.

Such a lack of confidence and trust in public figures is nothingnew. In 1st century Palestine, life was just the same. People sawcorruption and exploitation everywhere, amongst governors andofficials, from the lowly tax collector overcharging their ownpeople, to the leaders of the synagogue (the Jewish place ofworship) serving Rome rather than God.

But in Jesus, Paul writes, there is a totally different rolemodel. Jesus did not preach one thing and do another. He came andlived amongst us, shared our human life, knew its joys and sorrows,pain and suffering, and never sought to exploit his position. Hecalled his followers to the obedient life, but he practised what hepreached. Jesus offers us a model of obedience to God's will evenwhen, in his case, it led to death on the Cross.

Paul's letter to the hard-pressed group of Christians in Philippi(in modern day Greece) was bursting with encouragement. Theobedient life is portrayed as the only way to a fuller and deeperunderstanding and experience of the love of God. Paul was writingfrom prison but used his situation as an opportunity to spread thegood news about Jesus. So the Philippians had another role model inPaul, who, like Jesus, suffered for his faith "and became obedientto the point of death".

To Ponder

How can we help to restore respect for those whoserve in public life?

Obedience to God's will has often been misused asa tool to oppress people like slaves and women. How can youchallenge this?

Previous Page Sunday 13 September 2009
Next Page Tuesday 15 September 2009