Given By Rev. Madison Shockley October 1, 2017

Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers us inspiration today. Today’s reading is thought to be part of an early Christian hymn called Christ’s hymn. Rev. Madison reminds us that the translation of Christ is anointed. When we say we are Christians, we are really saying, we are anointed. He also reminds us of the Genesis creation story where it says God created men and women in the image of God. Paul was saying that Jesus was not trying to be God but humbly accepted and lived a human life as it was given to him. Jesus accepted his mortality. Death is part of human life. Paul is telling the Philippians to live a humble life like Jesus. This message from Paul was an affront to Romans as Caesar was considered lord of all. When they hear the name Jesus, they should kneel in honor. This relates to the current controversy over the some of the NFL players taking a knee. One person has explained that they are kneeling in prayer for the U.S. to live up to its ideals symbolized by the flag. There is something called a civil religion – a religion adopted by a nation. In the case of the U.S., it is Christianity. Our civil religion is called Americanism. Some people are confused. They cannot tell the difference between Christianity and Americanism. Our job is to help them understand that difference between patriotism and Christian faith. It is flag versus cross.  It is a difference between America first or our brothers and sisters around the world. God’s purpose in our lives is to help all people, no matter where they live for we are all God’s people.