Given by Rev. Madison Shockley April 3, 2022

Paul talks about status in his letter to the Philippians. He is trying to convince them that all human status is worthless compared to the status of every follower of Jesus.  Many early Christian communities had trouble divesting themselves of their worldly status. It was especially difficult for those with high status before joining the church. It was “Good News” to the poor and the slaves though. Another question of status was whether one had to be a Jew before becoming a Christian. Paul’s vision was larger. This movement was for the entire world. This issue was a huge battle. Paul told them that being Jewish was just another status title. What was more important was being in good standing in the ways of Jesus. There should be no status hierarchy among the faithful. We are all just siblings in Christ. We face the same issue today. We need to treat every person as an equal. Today examples of status are being white, being male, being a U.S. citizen, being able-bodied. These are all accidents of birth. Striving for such status symbols are counterproductive to the goals for a Christian community. We must accept all individuals as human, nothing else. No assimilation necessary. This is journey. There is always more to do.