Words of Inspiration

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The Mind of Christ In Us

by Pastor Heggen

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Phil. 2:5-11 (ESV)

From the beginning of the 20th century, St. Paul’s words in Phil. 2:5-11 have been seen as a quotation from an early Christian hymn. The downward, then upward sweep of these poetic words set before us the humiliation and exaltation of Jesus. In a few short lines this ancient hymn tells the story of Christ who, existing in the form of God, emptied Himself and took on Himself the role of man. As man He accepted the mission of a servant, obedient to the point of death. Then, in another set of short lines, God is spoken of as exalting Christ and giving Him the name which ultimately all the universe will acknowledge.

Paul quotes this “Christ hymn” with an ethical intent. Some Christians at Philippi showed little regard for one another. Their self-centeredness proved destructive of the life of the Christian community. Partisanship was tearing apart the unity of the Christian community. The solution to the dilemma (for them and for us) is to let the mind of Christ dwell in us.

Today we wave our palm leaves – ancient symbols of victory and celebration, and we speak and sing of the victory that is ours through Christ. In the spirit of this ancient Christ-hymn we celebrate because the eternal Christ humbled Himself…for us individually and corporately…He became “obedient to the point of death”…for us, and God has exalted Him so we…individually and together can proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

A challenge: Learn, yes, memorize all of Phil. 2:5-11. It’s not that overwhelming! Look at Phil. 2:5-11 alongside the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed

What Now?

by Pastor Hahn

The Season of Advent is a time in which we await with eager anticipation the coming of God's one and only Son, in the flesh. It is Christmas Day that marks His birth, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is this Son of God who was welcomed into Jerusalem as a King on Palm Sunday, met with His closest brothers in the upper room to share with them the bread and the wine in what we call the Last Supper, went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray for strength so that He could fulfill the task that was before Him, was arrested and sentenced to death by the people, was willingly nailed to the cross carrying with Him all of our sins so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for us, died a horrific death on Good Friday, descended into hell to proclaim the victory He had just won for us over sin, burst open the tomb on Easter Sunday to proclaim His victory over death and the devil through His glorious resurrection. So what now? That's what the disciples and all the believers in Jesus were saying to themselves.

Christ Lutheran Church has gone through a great deal of hurt, both past and present. So what now? We have started a healing process, a time of reconciliation, a time to reconcile our relationship with God and with one another. We sought out help from the MN South District to help guide us and direct us in this healing process. We met, as a congregation on a Saturday morning, carrying with us some hurt, some anger, some resentment, some confusion, but more than those a deep desire to seek out reconciliation. Expecting only about 30 people to be present and nearly brought to tears of joy when about 100 showed up.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son was used at this reconciliation meeting because of the way it speaks to us on so many different levels. The words "forgive me" and "I forgive you" were being spoken and heard. Throughout the Season of Lent during the Mid-Week Services we also focused on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We celebrated Holy Week and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior with the theme of Living as People of the Resurrection. So what now?

So what now for Christ Lutheran Church? Do we just move on and forget about everything that has just happened, pretending that nothing has changed? Do we hide ourselves away in the past? Do we blame everyone else and stir up more hurt? Or do we move forward in faith? Do we strive to live as people of the resurrection? Do we change?

It is through the resurrection of Christ that we are forever changed! It is through the resurrection of Christ that we can, as a body of believers at Christ Lutheran Church, profess that we exist to:

Know the love of God in Jesus Christ;

Show the love of God in Jesus Christ;

Grow in the love of Jesus Christ, and

Go and Share the love of God in Jesus Christ.

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in
Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:14