This coming Sunday’s sermon text is Philippians 1:27 – 2:11. Back earlier in January I heard a brief use of this text by Marc Brown at the Winchester District UMC training session. When I heard the verses read, I knew that I would use it for this week’s sermon without a doubt. I think Mark’s message that day was on point to that audience, but I also knew that when I spoke it would be before a different audience, yet one to which this passage would speak deeply.
The center of this text is the beautiful hymn Paul uses to illustrate a Christ-likeness we rarely see in the church at any time, but we occasionally have moment when we approach such rarified air of holiness. The hymn is this:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 
 The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996 (electronic ed.) (Php 2:6–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.