I want to read to you something from the second chapter of Philippians: "Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interest of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-even death on a cross."
I am so glad that we can gather on this day and that it is raining! And I'm so thankful to my brother (Rev. Holsey Hickman) for talking about all the greed in the world. And I want us now to look inward. I want to think about what's happening in us, with what goes on with our own egos, to try to make a name for ourselves, to try to get ahead of others, to always ask, 'what's in it for me?' And instead, Paul says to be imitators of Christ, but we can't ever be imitators of Christ. All we can be is in the mind of Christ. That's the state of being in which we belong. It's a state of being that Paul tells us about where Jesus emptied himself. As Barbara Brown Taylor says, it's an "evacuation of the ego" to make room for the ego eimi (ἐγώ εἰμι), the great "I Am." So as we leave this place, think about that "Great I Am" being within us, supporting what we do in the name of Jesus, not in the name of Diana, or Ruben, or Mark or Mae Jean or Trish, but in the name of Jesus.
Let us pray:
Oh, God, you are our God in ages past and our hope for years to come, even on this bad Friday that we now know is good. That you teach us that walking through the cruelty and the horrific experiences of life will not destroy what you have given us, but will take us through into the future on Sunday. Help us to remember those who need your help, and help us to do more than just talk. Help us to get on the phone to give a word of encouragement. Help us to write a letter this afternoon to state what we think is important for our country. God, be in our actions, in our state of being, in your mind, and we will give you the thanks and the praise. In Jesus' name, AMEN.