Posted by Comments:
kbc in sc
September 25, 2005
 
Okay, I'll start!
I like the way this ends: the prize is the call.
It's not that we're being called to a prize.
Somehow that makes a difference.


 
Posted by Comments:
S'n'S
September 26, 2005
 
Paul has warned the Philippians about Christian
leaders who may have impressive credentials but do
not witness to the gospel of Christ. Now he
offers his own list of credentials, only to reject
them all in favor of what he considers truly
significant.


 
Posted by Comments:
Dogwood Dave
September 26, 2005
 
Once again we find the relationship with Jesus
Christ is the bottom line. Not the rules, not
traditions, not the history, not the money, not
the power, etc

This text ties so nicely with the Psalm 19, which
frees rather than traps the person of faith.


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally in GA
September 26, 2005
 
3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of
the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.\

In light of the Gospel reading, where the tenants
have the kingdom of God taken away because they
don't produce fruit, this might be a good time to
explore what "call" is.


 
Posted by Comments:
Terry from Oklahoma
September 26, 2005
 
I'm trying to tie the lectionary passages to World
Communion Sunday. I'm thinking perhaps of defining
the prize. Yes the bottom line is a relationship
with Christ. But on a global scale, what are the
implications of that relationship? What are we to
be about as Christians relating to all of our
sisters and brothers around the world. Perhaps to
move toward peace for all of God's children...
would be a most excellent prize.. or a bonus from
our relationship with Christ. Okay, I'm just
starting to think here... sorry if I'm rambling.
Anyone got ideas on linking this to World
Communion Sunday?


 
Posted by Comments:
Terry from Oklahoma
September 26, 2005
 
I'm trying to tie the lectionary passages to World
Communion Sunday. I'm thinking perhaps of defining
the prize. Yes the bottom line is a relationship
with Christ. But on a global scale, what are the
implications of that relationship? What are we to
be about as Christians relating to all of our
sisters and brothers around the world. Perhaps to
move toward peace for all of God's children...
would be a most excellent prize.. or a bonus from
our relationship with Christ. Okay, I'm just
starting to think here... sorry if I'm rambling.
Anyone got ideas on linking this to World
Communion Sunday?


 
Posted by Comments:
Terry from Oklahoma
September 26, 2005
 
I'm trying to tie the lectionary passages to World
Communion Sunday. I'm thinking perhaps of defining
the prize. Yes the bottom line is a relationship
with Christ. But on a global scale, what are the
implications of that relationship? What are we to
be about as Christians relating to all of our
sisters and brothers around the world. Perhaps to
move toward peace for all of God's children...
would be a most excellent prize.. or a bonus from
our relationship with Christ. Okay, I'm just
starting to think here... sorry if I'm rambling.
Anyone got ideas on linking this to World
Communion Sunday?


 
Posted by Comments:
Terry from Oklahoma
September 26, 2005
 
I'm sorry!


 
Posted by Comments:
Radar Ralph
September 27, 2005
 
I too am trying to tie this to World Wide
Communion Sunday. I am thinking of naming others
who through the ages understood that the call is
the prize, that relationship with Jesus. Not a
big stretch to share journeys of faith where the
relationship was/is the bottom line. Ralph in
Canada


 
Posted by Comments:
joy in atl
September 27, 2005
 
Linking it to communion, not necessarily world
communion, and to Psalm 19, I'm thinking about the
verse about how the Law is more desirable than
Gold, sweeter than honey. That the prize is more
desirable thatn gold, or honey, but it is to be in
relationship with God. Even though Psalm 19 is
the psalmist relishing the Law, and Paul is
speaking negatively of the Law, that keeping the
Law was not his goal, still there is a picture of
relishing that relationship. The psalmist doesn't
seem to be gloating over keeping the law, but
simply basking in the right relationship with God,
just as Paul is striving only for that.


 
Posted by Comments:
JG in WI
September 28, 2005
 
In the New American Standard Bible, v. 14 is
translated, "I press on toward the goal for
the prize of the upward call of God in Christ
Jesus." Dr. Joel Gregory tells us that this
has Olympic significance. There was a group known
as the "agonothetes," who were overseers
of the games (and possibly of the city as well).
These people sat in an upper area of the arena in
something we, today, might call a "sky
box." When a runner or other athlete won the
race or the contest, that athlete would be awarded
a laurel wreath on the dusty floor of the arena.
However, if an athlete gave an unusually great
performance, the "agonothetes," would
give that athlete the "upward call."
The athlete would thread his way through the
crowds, cheering his name, and the athlete would
receive his prize in the "sky box" with
the agonothetes.

So in Christ, while our calling from God is by His
grace, Paul strives for an "upward call"
to receive his prize. This only happens when, as
Paul, we "forget what lies behind (both the
good and the bad) and straining forward to what
lies ahead.


 
Posted by Comments:
RevMom
September 28, 2005
 
I find it interesting that the prize, for Paul, is
the call, and not heaven. Talk about upside down
priorities! Our goal, then, is how we live out our
lives and not so much some far-off reward at the
end of the game (of life). As it pertains to World
Communion Sunday, what an opportunity to portray
the good news of the gospel! This is good news for
ALL people, regardless of status, income, skin
color, etc. God's love is for all people, not a
select few!


 
Posted by Comments:
RevMom
September 28, 2005
 
I find it interesting that the prize, for Paul, is
the call, and not heaven. Talk about upside down
priorities! Our goal, then, is how we live out our
lives and not so much some far-off reward at the
end of the game (of life). As it pertains to World
Communion Sunday, what an opportunity to portray
the good news of the gospel! This is good news for
ALL people, regardless of status, income, skin
color, etc. God's love is for all people, not a
select few!


 
Posted by Comments:
Teek
September 28, 2005
 
It seems to me I heard a Fred Craddock sermon in
which he was fascinated by the reduction to
"this one thing I do," to the exclusion
of all else. So it has me thinking, what
motivates us? And are we aware of it? What do we
need to be shedding?


 
Posted by Comments:
Jeff in Upstate NY
September 29, 2005
 
Paul talks about what is really valuable. It isn't
his pedigree, or his religiosity, or his
credentials – not even his reputation or his life.
What is truly valuable is Christ. For the sake of
Christ every thing else in his life is rubbish and
Paul is thankful for that.

Very few other people would think that Paul
fortunate either in “the surpassing value of
knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord,” or in his quest
for the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. In
fact, most would think him a fool – he had it all,
education, promise, respect beyond his years, and
Roman citizenship too. The possibilities for him
would be the subject of envy by his
contemporaries. And he threw it all away to follow
Christ?!!

But in Christ Paul found the treasure hidden in
the field and he sold all that he had to purchase
that field.

Where shall we find our treasure? In water; in
bread and wine; in the words of a poor preacher?
Seemingly worthless things yet in them we the
treasure that is worth letting go of all else that
would keep us from knowing Christ and the power of
his resurrection.


 
Posted by Comments:
Jeff in Upstate NY
September 29, 2005
 
Paul talks about what is really valuable. It isn't
his pedigree, or his religiosity, or his
credentials – not even his reputation or his life.
What is truly valuable is Christ. For the sake of
Christ every thing else in his life is rubbish and
Paul is thankful for that.

Very few other people would think that Paul
fortunate either in “the surpassing value of
knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord,” or in his quest
for the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. In
fact, most would think him a fool – he had it all,
education, promise, respect beyond his years, and
Roman citizenship too. The possibilities for him
would be the subject of envy by his
contemporaries. And he threw it all away to follow
Christ?!!

But in Christ Paul found the treasure hidden in
the field and he sold all that he had to purchase
that field.

Where shall we find our treasure? In water; in
bread and wine; in the words of a poor preacher?
Seemingly worthless things yet in them we the
treasure that is worth letting go of all else that
would keep us from knowing Christ and the power of
his resurrection.


 
Posted by Comments:
mm in oh
September 29, 2005
 
I was thinking for a children’s moment to show all
my diplomas I've received; my B.S., my M.Div., my
Ordination Papers, and throwing them all in a
trash can for my baptismal certificate, which is
the only one I have framed in my office. Showing
that the only thing that is required is a
relationship with Christ, something all baptized
Christians have already.


 
Posted by Comments:
Michelle
September 29, 2005
 
mm in OH,

Just one word of caution. I'm guessing you won't
leave those certificates in the trash. What will
it say to the children the next time they're in
your office and see these things back on the wall?
Or, when they see you take them out of the trash?


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally in GA
September 29, 2005
 
S'n'S says "Paul has warned the Philippians
about Christian
leaders who may have impressive credentials but do
not witness to the gospel of Christ"

.... hmmmmmm ..... there've been a few folks in my
churches who've accused ME of having impressive
credentials but not witnessing to the Gospel of
Christ.

So, what does that tell us? It certainly doesn't
tell us who really is right and who really is
wrong! It tells us that our opinions are worth
only their popularity, not their truth. Seems
Jesus had to face that with the Pharisees in
today's reading, too. Or was it that the Pharisees
had to face that with Jesus' parable?


 
Posted by Comments:
Tammy in Texas
September 29, 2005
 
When someone you love dies, you reevaluate what
is important in life. When you are told to
evacuate because Katrina, or Rita are about to
hit, you have to reevaluate what is important
enough to load up.

We had to evacuate for Rita, we were
spared..though many were not. I took my
clothes..as many as I could cause I HATE to shop.
I took pictures and I took a few of mmy daughters
things as they are irreplaceable... and, I took my
Bible. I did also bring a few smutty novels to
pass the time.

The point, our things..our credentials don't
matter when push comes to shove. How we live, and
for whom we live matters.

Just my thoughts...
 
Posted by Comments:
Heather in Sharon
September 29, 2005
 
Interesting that we hear the law in the OT reading
and then hear Paul dismiss any righteousness that
comes from the law here.

I think I'm going to try to link them; the law was
a gift, not so we could brag about how good we are
at keeping it (or point fingers at those we think
are doing a poor job), but so we could build up a
real relationship with God. Christ came for the
same reason; to make us his own. But instead we
try so often to be our own person, doing it all on
our own steam... not sure where I'll end up, yet.


 
Posted by Comments:
mm in oh
September 29, 2005
 
Michelle,

Fact is, my credentials are all in a box in the
basement, I’ll have to dig for them to begin with.
The only credential I have on my wall IS my
baptismal certificate. When we put the expensive
‘worldly’ credentials up, who are we trying to
impress? Our congregations? Ourselves? God? I
think Paul is saying, the only credential that
means anything is our relationship with Christ.
Any pastor who tells you otherwise is not
proclaiming the gospel of Christ but another.


 
Posted by Comments:
JBF in BB
September 30, 2005
 
I am looking at the passage from Philippians 3. I
believe the text helps us to see that God wants to
move us to another level. Paul saw the prize as
the 'other level' that God would have wanted him
to be.
However, for him to get to that place, there were
certain things that he had to realize. His
credentials didn't matter so he placed them behind
him 'forgetting those things that are behind'. He
also realized that in order to get to that other
level, he had to be determined, therefore he
'pressed forward.' It is interesting to note,
that 'pressing toward the mark' suggests that
there might be a struggle. One might actually
fall, but because of the desire for the greater
things of God,we keep moving despite of the
circumstances. This suggests to us that we must
press forward for this prize despite our
circumstances.

To get to this other level, we must also claim.
Paul not only laid eyes on the prize but he
claimed. It was the level that he wanted to be
with God.

We must also claim the level that God would have
us to go.

Just my ramblings.......


 
Posted by Comments:
JBF in BB
September 30, 2005
 
I am looking at the passage from Philippians 3. I
believe the text helps us to see that God wants to
move us to another level. Paul saw the prize as
the 'other level' that God would have wanted him
to be.
However, for him to get to that place, there were
certain things that he had to realize. His
credentials didn't matter so he placed them behind
him 'forgetting those things that are behind'. He
also realized that in order to get to that other
level, he had to be determined, therefore he
'pressed forward.' It is interesting to note,
that 'pressing toward the mark' suggests that
there might be a struggle. One might actually
fall, but because of the desire for the greater
things of God,we keep moving despite of the
circumstances. This suggests to us that we must
press forward for this prize despite our
circumstances.

To get to this other level, we must also claim.
Paul not only laid eyes on the prize but he
claimed. It was the level that he wanted to be
with God.

We must also claim the level that God would have
us to go.

Just my ramblings.......


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally
September 30, 2005
 
The earlier post about credentials has really got
me to thinking...

A family member of one of my congregants died
once, and I went to the funeral home and visited
my member in her home. It happened to be that the
deceased's pastor was there at the same time, and
the woman introduced us.

He looked at me with deep suspicion and was
formulating the question I was most prepared for
(in the South, in Southern Baptist country),
"So what do you do with the Scripture that
says 'women don't speak in church.'" .... I
have a standard response or two at the ready
because I hear it a lot.

Well imagine my surprise when the question that
came out with hostility was, "Are you
educated?" This preacher didn't believe in
educated clergy.


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally
September 30, 2005
 
Oh, and for the record ... I'm lucky to remember
where my papers are, much less have them framed in
my office.

I went to school for 20 years (23, counting
nursery school) - and I hated every minute of it.
I only did it because it would get me to where I
felt God to be calling me.

Well,maybe not EVERY minute of it; I really
enjoyed term papers and choir.


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally
September 30, 2005
 
... oh, and in college, I loved frat parties, too.


 
Posted by Comments:
pb in ny
October 1, 2005
 
mm in oh and Sally: God called and I went to
seminary late in life. My man required
"credentials" are framed and on my wall.
I worked hard for and earned them. My
credentials which will bring me greater reward are
still in the making - I am pressing on!


 
Posted by Comments:
pb in ny
October 1, 2005
 
3:13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made
it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting
what lies behind and straining forward to what
lies ahead,

3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of
the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

As an addendum to my previous post, I do not take
any credit for what has been accomplished. I do
not consider that I made it on my own, but only
through the grace of God. It has been my joy to
run the race and I continue to persevere - seeking
the goal.

As I look at the "prize of the heavenly
call" I wonder if that is a thought from
Paul at leaving this life and moving on to
perfection - when God calls him home? So, we all
press on to the goal, but it is up to God, and God
alone, as to whether or not we ascend to that
lofty height!


 
Posted by Comments:
Sally
October 1, 2005
 
A part of me that I don't share very often ... and
that makes me feel uncharacteristically shy is ...

That I went through a phase in seminary where I
asked all profs and colloquy leaders to refrain
from putting grades on tests, term papers, weekly
papers (colloquy papers), whenever they could. I
had to struggle at such a deep level with being
judged and deemed "worthy" by externals
that I did this as a way to try to learn
self-affirmation.

It was only partially successful. While it removed
the outside judgment from people, it was a very
hollow feeling. Try as I might, I could not affirm
myself enough to develop a self-esteem when it
came to academics.

Years later, I realize that the esteem I so craved
was God's. And that existentially, being judged
for work that I did not determine and the judgment
of which seemed to be geared towards spitting back
teacher's words, I chose to pass through that
phase to explore it.

Of course, the profs and leaders thought I was a
real wack-o! To this day, I can not completely
articulate what bugs me so much about school -
except that I happen to be very smart and not
allowed to be so in school! School is so passive -
and rather soul-less. Until I got to research and
write a term paper.

Long story, part of my testimony (which I'm
learning to do better), that actually relates
quite well to this pericope! Thank you ALL for the
discussion on this - and to whoever it was who
first borught up the idea of
"credentials." You've brought yet
another part of how God is working in my life -
into the light. Thank you!


 
Posted by Comments:
charles of Virginia
October 2, 2005
 
World wide communion Sunday and the gospel and
epistle texts all come together for me when I
consider that the "call" is the prize
and that call is to be a good and faithful
gatherer. Paul keep people from God, the wicked
tenants keep from the master, the vineyard in
Isaiah was taken over by wild grapes. The call and
the prize is gathering all at the table of grace,
not setting up walls to keep "the wrong
people" (Christians to the Jewish leader
Saul) from God's bounty. The good tenants gather
for the master, the reconstructed Paul gathered a
world, by counting power and influence rubbish.
Come to the table, that is the call we have and
the call we render because we are in Christ.


 
Posted by Comments:
charles of Virginia
October 2, 2005
 
World wide communion Sunday and the gospel and
epistle texts all come together for me when I
consider that the "call" is the prize
and that call is to be a good and faithful
gatherer. Paul keep people from God, the wicked
tenants keep from the master, the vineyard in
Isaiah was taken over by wild grapes. The call and
the prize is gathering all at the table of grace,
not setting up walls to keep "the wrong
people" (Christians to the Jewish leader
Saul) from God's bounty. The good tenants gather
for the master, the reconstructed Paul gathered a
world, by counting power and influence rubbish.
Come to the table, that is the call we have and
the call we render because we are in Christ.


 
Posted by Comments:
2rev
October 2, 2005
 
Paul moved from ultimate to pen-ultimate and felt
he was better off. He counted being second to God
better than being second to none.

God getting the last word is something we often
have problems with. We let others define us, we
want to define ourselves, and we want to define
others. We want to define God our way so we can be
at the top. We run to the top only to discover we
are on the wrong mountain.

The table is the great equalizer. It is were we
become the penultimate to God's ultimate.