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Communion (1995 Series)

Attitude and Altitude

Scheduled for October 19

(Phil 2:5-8 NIV)  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. {8} And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!


Motivational experts are currently using a new buzz phrase:  “Your attitude determines your altitude.”  We are told that we need to have that sneering arrogance that just brushes aside obstacles on our way to success.  As Lucy once told Charlie Brown, “I don’t want any ups and downs.  All I want are ups and ups and ups!”  From “trash talking” in sports to “in your face” business attitudes, we are told that arrogance is the key to success.


Compare that, if you will, to the attitude shown by Christ Jesus.  Paul tells us here that he was “in very nature” (philosophically, “in essence”) God.  What was his attitude?  That he took upon himself the nature of man, and a man of humble circumstances.  Consider then, the change in Jesus:  He went from “in very nature God” to man.  Not just man, but humble man.  Not just humble man, but poverty pressed wandering preacher.  Not just wanderer, but persecuted.  Not just persecuted, but abandoned.  Not just abandoned, but crucified.  At this example we are instructed to consider his attitude.  The motivational experts would seem to be right.  That humble attitude, it would seem, cost him everything -- until Easter Sunday.


(Phil 2:9-11 NIV)  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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


We are often instructed to remember Christ’s death at the time of Communion.  I would invite you to consider what preceded it:  the greatest change in circumstance ever known, from heaven to earth itself.  The change was voluntary;  we are instructed to have the same attitude.  As we examine ourselves at this time, may I suggest a few simple questions?


·         Are we too important to take on the menial tasks in the church?  (Have you ever changed diapers in the church nursery?)

·         Is “status” so important in our lives that we sacrifice the eternal to achieve appearances?

·         Are we afraid of the embarrassment we would suffer if we forced ourselves to speak to others about the grace of God?

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