Posts Tagged glory
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. If you have been raised with Christ. I would guess that on any given Easter Sunday, 99% of those who show up at an Easter Sunrise service are indeed already believers. Who in their right mind would get up so early to take part in a service they had no idea what it was about. So I’m, as they say, preaching to the choir, this morning. I would also guess the Paul writes to the church at Colossi knowing they are believers. But they are believers who might have lost the connection with what it means to be raised with Christ. The power of Christ’s resurrection affects our life more than our death. Christ arose so that we could start living the whole life God has for us from our birth, confirmed in our baptism, strengthened throughout our lives and bridges us through death into eternity. So much our grief over those loved ones who have died is evidence that we forget what it means to be raised with Christ. Certainly we miss them in the flesh with us, but in Christ we are never separated. I know my father’s love, guidance and tears in my walk. He was my best friend. He still is. The emphasis Paul implies is not so much ‘IF’ were are raise, but ‘SINCE’ we are raised with Christ. His word remind us of the foundation of our faith and the bedrock of our relationship. This is the Good News of the Easter story: He is alive, for us. Christ is alive because God has a claim on our hearts and struggles. Setting Your mind on Christ Sometimes we think the answer is to focus our mind on some area we would like to change and that would be enough to transform our living. I struggle every day making choices about my diet. I struggle every day making choices about my work, my finances, my relationships and my life. Paul gives the starting point for transformation. The best way to a person’s heart starts with their mind. We see, hear or experience a hungry child and our heart is motivated to feed and save. We see a broken step or windowpane at a neighbors house and we have the perspective they have learned to over look. We become aware of our neighbors sins and struggles and our mind can judge and condemn or our mind can have compassion and identify with our own sin and struggle and work toward mutual healing. The starting point is in the wonderful mind that God has created, but it is not the final answer. Our heart is the target that God claims and seeks to unite. Hiding or Revealing The tradition of Easter eggs is rooted in a way of teaching about the treasure of the tomb. It would be a more accurate practice if they eggs that children hunted were found to be empty instead of filled with treats from the magic bunny. Bunny have been used for their prolific ability to reproduce which points to the power of the resurrection. It would be a better example if we replicated the Easter message as prolifically as bunnies multiply. But with those knocks against the Easter bunny and his hiding eggs the text begs us to ask are we: hiding or revealing Christ in how we live our lives. I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of both. Sometimes I thrilled to share the Good News and help folks hear and know the love God has for them in Jesus Christ and him crucified. And other times I am hiding in fear, frustration and sin.
- Paul writes to encourage the church to be proactive in remembering and reclaiming the hold Christ has on their lives. His words invite us to do the same.
- He writes to give them a starting point: First set your mind and your heart can follow. If both your heart and head are not heading in a Christ like way, we are fooling ourselves, and others. (but not God.)
- Finally Paul asks us to reveal what is hidden and allow the light of Christ to guide our whole lives. In doing this the resurrection we celebrate at Easter lives in us now and for ever.
It’s Easter: You are claimed by Christ, set your mind on God and grow in Spirit by sharing Christ with others.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [NRSV]
Ringling Bros Circus prides itself in having the greatest show on earth. It’s impressive and big, but is it the greatest?
Tony the Tiger believes his Frosted Flakes are Great! I think Honey bunches of Oats are even better.
Olympics 1996, member and friend volunteer repairing the hand rail going up to the Olympic Caldron the night of the opening games. The torch arriving and he is duct taping at the last second. Turns around in the shadow, literally inches off camera and facing Mohamed Ali. The Greatest.
Greatness is not something that everyone seeks. In fact we could make a case that most folks want to stay out of the spotlight. Looking at the text, ten disciples are angry with two for raising the bar. If we are being evaluated or compared to our piers we don’t want them to do better than us because that would make us look bad. We have an unwritten pack to reach for the middle or even the lowest common denominator.
Jesus’ word is not to go looking for Greatness.
It will follow your trust and service.
Don’t set out with the intention to beat the system.
The life of discipleship (Being a Christian) is not to won or lost, it
Is received as part of the relationship with God.
We may not all long to be the top of the heap or the head of the pack, but who does not enjoy a long shower of glory and praise?
We like to be recognized, praised and appreciated.
We like seeing our name in the paper, (as long as its not bad news)
We like it when folks think we are “good people.” No one wants a bad reputation. (Notorious: Famous for being bad)
What would we do to be liked? Children learn at a young age that test and temptation of doing right or wrong to be “in” or “cool.”
Even as adults who say they don’t want attention or credit, we have an uncomfortable knot in the stomach when someone takes credit for good that we, or someone else, has done.
Looking at the text, Jesus looks to the disciples and says: “You don’t know what you are asking.”
It is both encouraging and affirming to have others praise what we do, but if we set out to be praised as our goal, then our efforts are empty.
Glory is the by-product of good that is has been done. This is true of God’s glory or our own. But if we set out to do good things with the hope and goal of receiving glory.. we find the work empty.
Why? If we go looking for the fruit without caring for the tree we have a meal but not a livelihood. Greatness and Glory comes from service..
A Life of Service, comes first.
Jesus uses the disciples struggle as a teaching point:
First: Don’t worry about being first in line. Work diligently to serve and greatness will follow
And: Don’t do it for the praise, the deduction or the credit and you will find joy, credit and the prize that service builds.
The last shall be first: it is a common theme in the gospels..
Why do we need to hear it repeated?
- We don’t have to tell people we are not looking for greatness/ glory/ credit/ praise/ approval/ when we actually are doing just that.
- We don’t have to qualify and apologize for acts of service or humility. They don’t need explaining or defending.
- As followers, we are disciples, those who are learning and developing what it means to be committed, trusting, disciplined in the path of Jesus.
Greatness comes from the Greatest.. Seek God not greatness
Glory and Praise are motivators… don’t seek them as the goal
Service: is the ideas and words of our faith in actions.. that shape the type of relationship we have with each other and God.
God comes to save the least, last and lost.. The rest of us know to follow, trust and love shown in Jesus Christ.
So lets’ get to the back of the line.