From Pastor Tom
I still remember the tears coming down my mom’s face as we sat at the kitchen table that Saturday morning. I was 18 years old, home for the summer from my first year away at college. It was my first time on my own but not really on my own. My fees included room and board so I wasn’t struggling to make rent or cooking my own meals. But I was responsible for keeping track of my own responsibilities. It was my own fault when I didn’t have a clean shirt or socks in the morning. Without her wise counsel and advice, I had made a few bad choices.
What did I do that morning to make my mom cry? I apologized for all the times that I had taken her for granted, for all the little things she had done that I never thought of… until I had to do them for myself. I confessed that I had put my own needs above hers.
And maybe it’s time we made the same confession to Mother Church.
In the short text from Paul’s letter to the Phillipians, he explains that life in Christ is a life of service. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” These are some tough words for us. Look at the things around Ascension. Are they here for others or are they here for us? Do we evaluate the mission and ministry about making sure our needs or met or are we looking to the needs others… even those outside the Church? Paul explains that this was the mind of Christ.
9:00 am Sunday School & Bible Study
10:30 am Sunday Worship
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Madison TN 37115
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking on 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.” (Phil. 2:5-8)
This description serves two purposes for us. First, it shows us the depths of Christ’s love for us, all that he gave up for you and for me that we would be his and live with him in eternal peace and love. Second, Paul tells the Church throughout the ages to “have this mind among yourselves.” If Jesus, the Son of Man, “came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45), then how can we, his disciples, get upset when the Church is not “meeting our needs?” The Christian life is about meeting the needs of others, starting with their need for a Savior.
It’s time that we confess our sin of selfishness in all things and start to consider how we can serve and “love our neighbors as ourselves.” It may just bring tears to the eyes of someone close to us.