These are some of the earliest Christian writings, the earliest Christian words in our Bible, written for Christians by Christians. They are a hymn, a creed perhaps, written by people trying to work out who is God? Who is Jesus? What was going on in Jesus’ life, and death? And how do we relate to them?
You journey through Lent has been one of trying to get closer to God. I wonder how that has been going for you?
The last few weeks have been very trying for many people, a real struggle to get by day by day, trying to grapple with what is happening in the world. And many people are asking, Where is God? Who is God in this?
So, this Palm Sunday, when we join in with the shouts of the crowd: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” We also sit with the doubt, with the struggles, with the times that perhaps our faith is lacking, or depleted.
And so I invite you to do as the Philippians have done, to do as the early Christians did, which is to grapple with those questions: Who is God? Who is Jesus? How do I relate to them? You may want to write something down, perhaps a bit like the hymn we have read. You may want to just ponder and reflect; you may want to share what you are thinking with others.
But please be reassured that all the doubts, the questions that you have, have been held by people for over 2000 years, and will continue to be held by many people. And God loves us for that, and with that.
You may like to read the words of the hymn of the early Christians again, and use these words as you come closer and closer to the cross, through Holy Week to Good Friday.
… Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I wish you a blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week