Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:9
Listen: Philippians 2
In last weekend’s sermon, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion highlighted the significance of the Arch of Galerius in Thessalonica. Built two centuries after Paul, this arch symbolized power, empire and threat. It depicted emperor Galerius galloping into battle and crushing the enemy under his horse. He was larger in scale than other characters to symbolize that he is bigger than life. He was glorified as anyone who walked by that arch was reminded that the emperor was the reason they won wars. This showed Rome’s mindset and way of life. If you operate on the ideals of Rome, it leads you to selfish ambition, conceit and competition to crush others.
In contrast, there is a kingdom different from Rome. A kingdom with Jesus as its king possesses a radically different mindset than Roman culture. Jesus came not to be served but to serve—and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). The cross symbolizes love, servanthood, generosity and forgiveness. To follow Christ requires a radical uprooting of the way of Rome. It requires learning a new song that trusts God will take care of me while I take care of others. When we use our strengths and resources for the benefit of others, we can be certain the Way of the Cross is expanding and the heart of God is pleased. The Way of the Cross pushes out the Way of the Arch.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
We get to decide if we will be arch people or cross people. Turn to page 26 in your Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure journal. Take some time to reflect on your week. List the moments when the Way of the Arch crept into your words and actions. Offer a prayer of confession and invite God to equip and empower you to embrace the Way of the Cross today.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.