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What Are You Looking For?

March 1, 2021

“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

While we know it’s not quite polite to articulate the point so bluntly, deep down we believe in the wisdom of “looking out for number one.” There are a couple of assumptions at play here The first is that our highest duty is to ourselves. The second is that we don’t really trust that other people will be there for us. Then there’s that odd phraseology: “number one.” What makes us think we our most important person?

Paul casts a different vision. Today’s New Testament verse from the Daily Texts is a call to look not to our own interests, but to one another’s needs. These words come shortly before the great Christ hymn in which Paul calls us to have minds that our Christ-like. To think like Christ is to think of others first. You can still look out for number one. You’re just not number one anymore!

Earlier today I found myself reading a retrospective on U2’s masterpiece, The Joshua Tree. One of the smash hits from this album, so formative in my youth, was “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It’s a song of spiritual yearning; part of its spare beauty is the reminder that we won’t find what we need within ourselves. We will find it in Christ, who will help us find what we need in others, too.

Go ahead, look out for number one. As long as number one isn’t you. What would the world look like if we were all, always, looking out for one another?

Also, today the church commemorates George Herbert, hymnwriter and poet. His hymn, “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life,” as set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, reminds us that our path is not in ourselves. Our Way is Jesus, who leads us to one another.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of grace, break us open. Let us die to ourselves that we might rise in the newness of your glory. Create in us the mind of Christ, with eyes always looking out for one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: I think Torsten is looking out for you! Picture from a few weeks ago.

From → COVID-19

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