JESUS SERVED: WE SERVE – A Change of Mind
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. —Mark 10:45
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. —Philippians 2:1-8
The second candle of advent—representing love—brings us to a place where we can only experience something when we have the mind of Christ. It is a reckoning of sorts that requires us to set our minds on things above, as Paul says. It draws us in from selfish deceit and pain and into joyous celebration at the fulfillment of the needs of others.
Christ’s love for us was so powerful that He was able to endure great pain on our behalf. That is a mindset, for love is not fleeting, but rather something on which you set your mind. We, too, need to “have this mind among yourselves,” for only then can we serve out of love for one another and nor for our “own interests.”
Having the mind of Christ, as Paul says in I Corinthians, is something we can have. It only happens though, when we set our minds up against the beliefs that have hindered us from experiencing real love. One of those in which we easily get entangled is the lie that our love for ourselves can somehow bring about satisfaction. If that were the case, why, then, would Jesus go to the cross? It was for the satisfaction, or payment, of the debt we owe!
Consider for a moment even the Christmas season, where consumerism reigns supreme. Finding the right gift, the big sale, the perfect present is what drives us, all the while hoping we get what we want, whether that is from someone or if we justify the purchase ourselves. All is done for a moment of fleeting happiness because our mind is not on whom has served us but on hoping we get served.
In order to combat this selfishness, we need to know that Christ came to serve us. We–the object of His joy—were the reason He experienced joy through that serving, through the suffering, through the ridicule, the anguish, the loneliness, the abandonment. His ultimate act of serving was sacrificing His life on the cross for us. His mind was set on doing the will of the Father, not on selfish conceit. When we are able to change our mind and focus on others rather than ourselves, then we begin to know what true love is and are willing to see serving as fulfillment of why Christ came to serve us.
You can download the JESUS SERVED: WE SERVE Advent Resource Guide here.