"Be Mind Full of Christ"
By Rev. James A. Splitt
   Sermon April 5, 1998 - Palm Sunday
Luke 22:14-23  Philippians 2:5-11

Have you ever wondered how one idea can have such an impact that millions of people's lives can be affected and change the course of history?  Prior to the 1900s,  the Industrial revolution had swept through Europe and the United States with remarkable changes to the way of life people had know for centuries.  From weaving machines in the textile industry to motorized transportation, mechanization virtually changed  every occupation and life
style.  As we entered the 1900, we were in a new era that followed the industrial revolution called the progressive era characterized by a number of reform movements.  Due to the shift in economic conditions and the manifestation of labor practices evolving out of the industrial revolution, reform was inevitable and necessary.  Women's rights, voting rights, child labor laws, and other issues were to be addressed.  And this was just the beginning.  We are well beyond the industrial revolution and reform movements.  We are entering an age that is unlike any other.  Today we live in a Cyberspace world in which the next transformation of our world culture will undoubtedly come as we experience a new phenomena called virtual reality.

All of this is about ideas.  The shaping of change comes about because of an idea.  The inventiveness, and the creativeness of our society has occurred with the birth of one idea giving way to another, and yet another.  Because someone figured out how to transfer an image on to a piece of paper using an ink press and metal images that could be arranged in a proper order, the era of printing came into being.  Because someone figured out how to reduce circuitry to the size of a pin head, the era of microchips and microprocessors has come into being.  But it still has to do with ideas and the power of the mind.

On a global level we get the big picture as we look back over all the influences and changes that have occurred because many people with many ideas developed and created a mechanized world.  We can become more specific in our inquiry if we study only those ideas that led to changes that have affected agriculture and farming.  With an even closer look we can look at one person's ideas and study the ripple effect as they influenced and changed the course of history.  On an even more personal basis we can look into our own personal lives and ask  . . ." What ideas have influenced us and changed the way we live."  The ideas our parents have about all kinds of There remains one idea that continues to transform lives that is in our text from Philippians.  Paul had a brilliant idea.  Perhaps if this idea could be planted in the minds of people.  Despite all the obstacles, pressures, persecution, and the threat of life, the Christian faith could transform the world if a simple idea was given birth in people's lives. 

Philippians 2:5 says, "Let the same mind be in you that was in Jesus Christ."  Another version reads, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."  The Greek translation literally means, "Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus."  Think like Jesus is a great idea.  Or as I have put it in the sermon title, BE MIND FULL CHRIST!  Having the mind of Christ is an idea that changes the quality of our life and our understanding of eternal life.  By asking certain question, we can have the realization of how the mind of Christ can be our own.

In what ways does an idea contribute to the improvement of the quality of our life and the life of others?
Does it heal us?
Does it liberate us?  Does it bring harmony into our lives?
Does it contribute to a sense of peace, assurance?
Does it fill us with a sense of gratitude?
Does it inspire us with wisdom and love?
Does it make it possible for us to find the answers we need to the problems of daily living?

Jesus put it very simply, "By their fruits ye shall know them."  Furthermore, Jesus said, "Know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  Having the mind of Christ, manifests itself in who we are and what we do with our lives.  According to Garret Green in his book on Imagining God:Theology and Religious Imagination, he writes:

"the revelation of God in the history of Israel and supremely in the person of Jesus Christ takes effect in human life by releasing our powers of imagination from the bondage of false idols.  it provides us with a new Human life and divine life and interwoven as we open our minds to the thinking like Christ.

Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday as it is also known) is the event which commemorates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the festival of Passover begins.  The word was out that Jesus was about to arrive and I can imagine as the word spread, people gathered along the way to welcome him.  But before he began this parade of sorts, the text from Luke says that he viewed the city from the Mount of Olives and began to weep, saying, "would that they might know the things that make for peace." 

Jesus wants us to have the gift of divine thinking.  Jesus wants us to The triumph of Jesus, the reason for singing and saying Alleluia, is that we have accepted Christ into our lives and we are ready to walk with him the rest of the way.  We are willing to join him in the temple, we are ready to wash one another's feet.  We are willing to let the children come to us.  We are willing to comfort the leper.  We are willing to carry the cross and feel the suffering and anguish that comes when sin has its way.  

How does the idea of having the mind of Christ challenge you today and what possible ways might this transform your life . . . and how you become mind full of Christ.  Amen.

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