Palm Sunday, Year C, 4/1/07

“On Our Mind”
Philippians 2: 5-11

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

e run around all day thinking about all kinds of things: pick up the kids at school, find just the right moment to ask the boss for a raise, it’s a great day to play golf. Our minds are going to be focused on something all the time, unless we are brain dead. But what is our mind stayed on?

This is important because we are what we think about in our minds. Little thoughts create little minded people, but great big thoughts create greatness.

Paul, author of this letter to Philippi, is challenging believers of all time: “Your attitude (mind, soul goal, purpose, and plan) should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand or cling to his rights as God. Jesus became obedient to the point of death.”  

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry did not tempt him to proclaim himself as the king of Jerusalem. No, he was about a higher purpose and plan for the ages. We would not still be celebrating Jesus’ riding a borrowed donkey to become a forgotten temporary king; but instead, by following God’s eternal plan for the salvation of all people it made him the singular most important person of all times. God has a bigger life for us than we can imagine but some folks will never listen to His big purpose.

If we are to grab hold of some bigger notions we could not find a better source than God. This is what Saint Paul is challenging us to do: To allow Christ’s attitude and mind set to fill our minds with more noble ideas. 

A new pastor was riding out into the country near his newly appointed church to introduce himself to some of his farmers who were planting new ground. The preacher asked the first farmer what he was doing in the field. The farmer replied, “I am working to make a living from this dirt.” On down the road he stopped and asked a second church member what he was doing today in the field. His reply was nobler, “I am working to feed a hungry world!” Both were performing the same task but one had his boots in the dirt and the other was fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.

Allowing Christ’s mind in our mind is to find and fulfill His calling for our lives. The rub is to first discover God’s Call and to begin following it.

Jesus’ calling was to ride down the mountain path into hostile Jerusalem and submit to the Cross. Ours might be a cross or a crown. Crowns are not guaranteed for every follower of Christ, but a divine purpose is.

While off from college one summer I worked in the loading docks of a giant textile mill that manufactured cotton sheets. I was intrigued with the tiny man who made that department operate with great precision. To him it seemed that his was the most important position in Kannapolis. He was always busy but one day I caught him alone. After bragging on his department, I asked him what the secret of his success was. Wouldn’t you know? He was a Presbyterian Elder in his church. I had just received my call to preach and I asked him if he was a pastor. “No” he said, “I am just the President of the Board of Elders, but that is my place in the great scheme of the universe and, as a side line, I try to keep this loading dock sending the exact orders that are put on these rail cars and shipped all over the world.” The church is my joy, my calling.

This is just one example of how faith in Christ and responding to his calling upon just one little man’s life has made our community life together. So much related to our commerce, employment, educational and public works systems are dependant upon good honest people who have responded to their job as a higher calling from the Risen Lord.

So, as we are running around this week trying to meet our responsibilities, do you think that we might try to think with our minds set on higher purposes even though our responsibilities are dragging us down?

Let’s get on our donkey and ride down the mountain to fulfill our high calling especially made for us!

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
Palm Sunday, Year C, 4/1/07