2024-03-24 - Palmarum - (EN) - Jugenddiakonin Julia Bingießer

( Philippians 2:5-11 ) - [ Deutsch ]

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Dear Congregation,

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. This is the beginning of Holy Week. We have heard how Jesus had been welcomed by the crowd. They are impressed by Him and by what he had done. But in the coming week we will see how the crowd abandoned Him. He had to fend for Himself. He was sentenced and crucified. 

Paul is in prison and he writes to the congregation in Philippi. Probably there had been stress and misunderstandings amongst the congregation in Philippi, just like in Corinth and in Rome, and just like today. 

It is in this situation that Paul writes a letter with a harsh message.

Your relationship with each other should correspond with your relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Paul is trying to show the congregation in Philippi how they should live. 

The life of Jesus Christ should be an example for them:

* Jesus does not hold on to His divine form but takes on the form of a man.

* Jesus divested Himself of all His rights. He was a human being like all of us.

* Jesus was obedient to the will of God up until death.

For us, what does it mean?

* To let go of what supposedly defines me, my money, my looks, my job. Not to define myself by it.

* It means letting go of my privileges in connection with others, just as Jesus Christ let go of the privilege of being equal to God. What's more, he took on the form of a servant, a slave, and thus placed Himself on a par with the least respected people, with those who no one else pays attention to.

* I don't put myself above others because I think I know more, am better educated, have achieved more in my life, have a nicer house, a better career. I know my counterpart is a person like me.

* God is No. 1 in my life. God is boss and I submit to God's will. I have the courage to trust God and serve God accordingly.

Paul not only gives the Philippians and us guidance, but also hope.

If we are humble like Jesus Christ, then we also have a share in the resurrection. God has exalted the humbled.

Today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. We can decide whether we remain spectators, cheer from the side and then disappear. Or we can move with Jesus, humble ourselves and trust God. Hoping that death isn't the end and that we can take part in the resurrection.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

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