Good morning, Christ Church! I want to start by thanking all who were able to hop on Zoom for worship yesterday. It was fantastic to see your faces lighting up the screen. God showed up, as always, and we worshipped, it was safe, and I am grateful for you!
Let’s look back at Sunday’s reading (Philippians 2:16-30): “But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a drink offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God.” A drink offering is a “fine-wine” offering. It is costly. This is not a Sutter Home or Boone’s Farm (that’s not wine) offering. We are talking about a Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Malbec poured, not into a glass, but out onto an altar or the ground. This sounds like a waste, not unlike the expensive perfume poured out by the woman of Bethany on Jesus’ head. It seems wasteful and extravagant, and yet, according to Paul, when our lives are poured out this way in service, the result is joy. “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it (Matthew 16:25).”
Now, as we consider Thanksgiving, I predict some heartache. Perhaps you have lost someone, and grief is a steady companion. Let’s not forget widespread disappointment as holiday plans are revised or canceled. Being safe is a good choice, but it is a painful choice. For any of you who are grieving losses or heartbroken over delayed tradition, you are not alone. It feels a little like Charlie Brown running full steam expecting to kick a football “clear to the moon,” but instead meeting the hard ground. Good grief!
So, where does this leave us? I think there is relief to be found in Paul’s words. There is an everyday way we lose our lives for the sake of the Gospel and that is by looking for ways to be of service. I read a quote from psychotherapist Alfred Adler recently and, while oversimplified, there is some truth in what he said: “You can be healed of depression if ,every day you begin, the first thing you consider is how you can bring real joy to someone else.” Extreme, right? Perhaps, outlandish, but what Adler is getting at is, we were made to serve others. There is joy to be found in beginning by asking God, “How can I be of service today?” Perhaps, after dusting ourselves off post-punt, this is the posture to begin with on Thursday.
Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, I pray you find yourself rejoicing!
With love and thankfulness,
We send emails throughout the week with various updates, video, and content. If you’d like to receive those emails (for either Overland Park or Mission) CLICK HERE to sign up!