Prayer: In the coming days, Lord, may we be renewed and rededicated to doing work in your name. Amen.
Reading: Philippians 2: 5-11 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Next week is Holy Week. It is a somber time in the church year, as we walk with Christ from the shouts of “Hosanna” as he enters Jerusalem to the cries of his followers on the hill called Golgotha. On Sunday, we will hear the story of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey. Many churches will also read the entire passion story as we begin this solemn week.
It’s also a busy time for clergy in our church. Being the spouse and son of pastors, I know that it is a week of hectic schedules and many things to get ready for and lead. In the midst of this solemn but busy time for them, it is tradition to hold a Chrism Mass. It’s usually held on the Tuesday of Holy Week. The Upper Susquehanna Synod has an annual observance of this service, when ordained folk rededicate themselves to the vows they took when they were ordained.
Some may think, “Why do something like this on one of the busiest weeks of their work year?” That question was asked to some pastors and many of them responded that they like having it that week because it forces them, in the midst of the busy-ness, to take some time out for their own personal reflection.
The text that we read today was read at my installation as executive director of Camp Mount Luther. Recently, when I heard this passage, I was reminded of the promises I made that day in 2001. Hearing those words helped me to renew my pledge to do the work I do to the best of my ability. It is good to be reminded of the promises we made before God and others.
What are some of those promises that you made that you need to rededicate yourself to doing in the not-so-distant future. As we remember the promises God made during Holy Week, may we also renew ourselves to service in God’s name. –Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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