“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death.” – Philippians 3:10
Reading the options for this reflection, I used the Bible I received in 1975 when I was a freshman in college. Next to Phil 3:10 I have written in the margin, “life verse, 1/8/78”. Well, that made my choice for this meditation pretty easy!
I want to present two aspects of this verse that have shaped my life over the last 44 years.
First, the second word of this verse, “want” captures my attention. My “wants” have shaped how I use my heart and mind. Wanting to know Christ, has shaped my heart both inside and outside, with a love for myself and others. Wanting to know Christ, has shaped my mind with a sweet paradoxical receptivity to what I know and what I don’t know.
Second, the juxtaposition of imitating Christ in both His resurrection and sufferings has helped me respectfully hold together all the realities of my life. When things go right, it is not that I have found favor with God and when things go wrong it is not that I have found disfavor with God. Rather, life is a mixture of resurrection and suffering experiences, and in both Christ has provided a path for me to follow.
My husband and I have been streaming a series called “This Is Us” for the last few months. It portrays the complexities of family life in all its ups and downs with great compassion and insight into how the downtimes often lead to the up times. I recommend it.
My desire to know Christ makes all the people and all the circumstances of my life a means “to become like him”.
Loving God, as we hold on to You in the ups and downs of our lives, we offer You use of our hearts and minds. Amen.