Please read Philippians 2: 1 – 11
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
Philippians 2: 2 ~ The Message Bible
Complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other.
Philippians 2: 2 ~ Common English Bible
One need not scroll very far on a news website or listen very long to a news broadcast, before there is a story illustrating the brokenness and factionalization of our world. Over and over again, we are bombarded with “us” verses “them” mentality and an attitude of protectionism and isolationism. Our world is marked by an increased tribalism rather than a sense of unity, and competitive rather than cooperative spirit.
While this is true outside of the church, it can also be the case within the church. Philippians 2 serves a corrective, admonishing the community of faith to live in unity. In this section of Philippians, the community is called to consider its inner life. In verses 1–2 the community is instructed to relate to each other as Christ related to God.
The wild goose is the Celtic symbol for God’s spirit and the symbol for unity. Alone a wild goose can only fly one-third as fast as it can when flying in formation.28 Traveling at up to 70 miles an hour when in formation, the constant honking of the wild goose is a call of encouragement to others in the group. The V-pattern that is characteristic of geese in flight also aids the group. It assists with wind resistance boosting efficiency and range. When the lead goose tires, that goose will fall back and another goose will take the point. We can learn an important lesson from the wild goose. We are stronger when we travel together and encourage one another along the way.
How are you like the wild goose? Do words of encouragement and appreciation come easily? Are you willing to assist another on the journey? When you see a need do you step up for the good of the community? Today, be the honking goose. Express gratitude to and for others. Identify when others are vulnerable, weary and fatigued, and seek to assist them so they may be stronger because of your presence. Look for win - win options. Practice consensus-making. Assess your gifts and talents and look for the place the world needs them, be ready to take the point.
Let us pray.
God, it is indeed good when brothers and sisters can live together in harmony. Forgive us when we seek others vulnerabilities as points of advantage. Forgive us when we believe that the interests and wants of our affinity group are more important than the concerns and needs of others. Fill us with the Spirit so we may live as wild geese. We pray in Jesus name.
Taken from the 2015 Disciples Home Missions Lenten Devotional Resource, written by Rev. Dr. Beth Rupe
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.