Section 1: Opening Prayer
Holy God, help us to be like Jesus. Help us to focus on you and the riches of your kingdom. so that our actions may bring you glory and not us. That our actions may show your love to the world and let your light shine in the darkness. Amen
Section 2: Story
Here is a video about more than the Christ Hymn but gives a great understanding of the book of Philippians:
And here is an interesting video on the passage:
Section 3: Message
Read the Christ Hymn.
This passage is called the Christ Hymn because when I was in seminary I learned that this set of verses was something that Paul would have heard from some place else. The way the words are put together in the Greek and even the words used are not words or structure that Paul uses in other parts of his writing, so scholars believe from this, that this passage was something that Paul would have heard, and quite possibly could have been a hymn. As I prepared to construct this lesson I read or watched some videos on how it could have been an early creed. This makes sense because a creed is a statement of belief and it is a statement of who early believers and followers of Christ thought he was. It was their statement of belief. And it could have been sung so it could be a creed and a hymn.
But what does this passage tell us?
In my words:
Be like Jesus, because even though He knew He was God, He let that go.
He didn’t use the fact that He was God to His advantage,
but let go of being God so that He could be like us, in every way.
And when He was like us He humbled Himself even more for us
To die for us. And so He became cursed and hung on a tree.
And because of this, the Father gave Him the greatest name of all.
And every knee will bow, some willingly and some not so much,
and every tongue will proclaim that He is Lord.
Jesus didn’t hold on to the fact that He was God, but He emptied Himself so that He could die for all of us.
I said above that he died on a tree because a cross is made of wood and is kind of a tree and Deuteronomy 21:23 says “for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse”
So Jesus took on the curse of God for us.
Here is a link to several versions of the Christ Hymn. See which one you like the best.
Section 4: Learn and Engage
– What are 3 things you learned?
– What is 1 question you still have?
– What part of the lesson did you most identify with?
– What part of the lesson was hardest for you?
– Where have you seen God this week?
Section 5: Closing Prayer
Gracious and most holy God, help us to come to you before with humble hearts and lives. To empty ourselves of selfishness and to focus on the path you have set before us. Amen.