April 1, 2012

The first scripture for Sunday is Philippians 2:5-11. Scholars believe that this was a hymn of the early church. What they were singing captures the spirit of what New Testament faith was like. This passage shows how they thought about Jesus. Significant in this passage is the “Christos Nous,” or the “Mind of Christ.” To be Christian meant to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” More than remembering and reviewing the life of a historical figure, worship is something we live in our daily moments, and that takes getting to know (at a deep feeling level) the “Mind” that was in Jesus—not judging, forgiving, going the second mile, turning the other cheek, minding every word that comes from our lips, the be-attitudes, etc.

The second passage is Mark 15:33-38. For those interested in reading the text prior to Sunday, the whole passage is Mark 15:1-47. We will focus on that brief moment in the passion drama when the curtain in the temple was torn. We will explore the significance of that curtain in both Moses’ tabernacle and the early Jewish Temple. It separated the outer sanctuary from the Holy of Holies. The idea that Jesus’ crucifixion tore apart what separates us from God’s Holiness holds great possibilities for spiritual growth. In our lives today, our personal “passion dramas” tears the curtain and encourages our closeness with God.