The Mind of Christ
September 28, 2020
Rev. Dn. Kathleen Borsch
In the very short parable about a man who owned a vineyard and asked each of his sons to go work in that vineyard, Jesus’ message is that those who change their mind and say “yes” to God are the ones who do God’s will. The parable was intended for the arrogant temple officials, but we can learn from it as well. What does a “change of mind” mean for us?
Paul was encouraging the Christians in Philippi to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”. You mean, have the same mind, the same thought processes, the same attitude as Jesus? I think so! He described how Jesus, who has existed as God from before Creation, chose to humble himself, to take all of his divinity and empty it into the form of a human being, and then do whatever it took to be the Servant to all humanity. What Paul said to those believers, he would say the same to us.
Here we are in this pandemic that has shown no signs of slowing down, with almost a million COVID-19 deaths in the world so far. Those of us who have not gotten sick have lived with things like frustration, fear, and isolation; our lives as we knew them have been disrupted. I’ve heard several at All Saints say that they miss coming to the church. And this is why we must remind ourselves that we ARE the church! It is in times like these when we associate a bit more with like the Christians of the early church who had to deal with extreme persecution for their beliefs, in fear of death or isolation.
There are two aspects (among many) of “the mind of Christ” I would like us to consider. First, God has give intelligence and creativity to ALL of us. This is part of our DNA, part of being human. Since the start of the pandemic, people have been finding ways to keep us all connected. I want to say a very heartfelt thank-you to all who have stepped up and said, “Yes, I’ll record myself reading or singing or praying in our church services. Yes, I’ll pick up ballots, deliver care packages, help distribute clothing.” I also want to thank those family members who have faithfully stood there with the camera or phone! (Did you know that my daughter Rebekah has gone with me all over this part of the state to proclaim the Gospel, using her talents in creating the best camera angles while dealing with things like strong winds, loud trucks, and bugs? And Noah keeps improving the technology and skills to make our online services happen.) What about some of you who have figured out how to get connected to others by Zoom - can you encourage someone to use it and help them to learn? Any of us could call someone for a chat or check-in or, really quaint old-school, send a card or a note on some nice stationery.
The second aspect of the “mind of Christ” is the more important one: love, the love of God. Without love, the first suggestion I mentioned won’t have that much life to it after a while. Our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, who has just written a new book titled Love is the Way: Holding onto Hope in Troubling Times, was interviewed a couple of days ago on a national radio program, and he spoke about a way of living that is unselfish and committed to a concern for others as well as self, a commitment to a better world. Jesus came to us because of love. We also can live in the way of love, because we have his mind, we have his love.
Whether you use the love and creativity of this wonderful mind of Christ that you have for the people “out there” – the folks in need who come by the church every weekend or a group of folks on the other side of the world, or for that matter, advocating for the very life of all humans on this planet – or for your church family (oh, and don’t forget about your own family!), just do it and do it in love. No ordination or special credentials needed. You already have it. Amen.