But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:7-14
It is Monday in Holy Week and there is so much to do that it can seem overwhelming. Five mid-day services and three evening services this week along with three more on Sunday. The cup is full and overflowing. Sometimes the tasks ahead seem too monumental, whether it's holy week or other life challenges. But I must press on because all I do I never do alone.
Paul is writing to the church in Philippi. The people have been faced with overwhelming challenges and are losing heart. It happens to the most wonderful and faithful people because we are all very human. We want to be above average, better than everyone else but we are just like everyone else - human. Paul understands the temptation to pride and the holier-than-thou arrogance that comes with serving God. We clergy are as human as everyone else. God invites us through Paul's invitation to press on, trusting that we are not laboring or running on alone. In our hardest climbs and our biggest challenges God goes with us - "Christ before us, Christ behind us." What ever is before us today,we are able to go on and serve today because we are never alone but are tethered and bound to God in every breath.
Today, I ask God to help me remember that I am not alone and I do not have to rely on my own strength. We are bound to God, intimately interwoven into the family of the Creator. Everything we do we do with God's love and strength coursing through our beings. We can face today with the bold promise of Christ being with us, within us and around us as we go forth to serve today.