It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose. Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus. So all of us who are spiritually mature should think this way, and if anyone thinks differently, God will reveal it to him or her. Only let’s live in a way that is consistent with whatever level we have reached.
Brothers and sisters, become imitators of me and watch those who live this way—you can use us as models. As I have told you many times and now say with deep sadness, many people live as enemies of the cross.Their lives end with destruction. Their god is their stomach, and they take pride in their disgrace because their thoughts focus on earthly things. Our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to a saviour that comes from there—the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform our humble bodies so that they are like his glorious body, by the power that also makes him able to subject all things to himself. ~ Philippians 3:12-21
Each day throughout Lent I intend to post ONE of the reading from the Daily Office Lectionary. The Daily Office Lectionary offers the prescribed readings for us as we pray in the Morning and in Evening, If you follow the link you well see that it is laid out week by weeks and you can read the scripture reading of the day,
Today I chose to post the Epistle reading. Paul writes these words of encouragement to the people of Phillipa. In it, Paul identifies that, while he is an ardent follower of The Way, he has not reached the goal. He is not perfect. He reminds his readers that his focus in on the things ahead and not the things behind him. He is focused on the future and not the past. He writes to those who feel discouraged that they might look to him as an example. There are plenty of distractions and plenty enemies of The Way. His encouragement is to look to him and other imperfect sisters and brothers in the community and trust that God will reveal that which needs revealing.
The periocpe leave me asking …..
Henri Nouwen wrote about how following the way of Jesus was really about embracing Downward Mobility…
The society in which we live suggests in countless ways that the way to go is up. Making it to the top, entering the limelight, breaking the record – that’s what draws attention, gets us on the front page of the newspaper, and offers us the rewards of money and fame.
The way of Jesus is radically different. It is the way not of upward mobility but of downward mobility. It is going to the bottom, staying behind the sets, and choosing the last place! Why is the way of Jesus worth choosing? Because it is the way to the Kingdom, the way Jesus took, and the way that brings everlasting life.
Paul writes, ‘The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.’ Is the Prize of God really and upward call?
How might we better embrace downward mobility this Lenten Season?
Who are my exemplars? Who do I look to for encouragement? How do I see The Way?
What does it mean to Press On?
Lots of food for thought.