“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Php 2: 3-4)
I looked at these words this morning, and immediately thought, “Ouch!” Because the Apostle is speaking to a Church-community, within which there was, apparently, a tendency “merely to look out for one’s own personal interests.” This admonishment stares out at me today, as part of Holy Scripture, speaking to me most specifically about my behaviour within the context of Church.
So let me review my general attitude toward “others” in church. Do I ask myself what “I” can “get out of” church-participation? Or do I ask myself, What can I give? And let me remind myself of the “sacrificial” aspect of the Eucharist (from sacer- and facio, “to make holy”) that involves not only the Self-Giving of God, but the self-giving of us, to one another and to Him, that He may in His turn “give us back” to ourselves, transfigured and holy.
Today let me not be an ecclesial “consumer,” but a self-giver within the harmony of the Body of Christ. “Let us love one another that with one mind we may confess: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Trinity one in essence and inseparable.” (Byzantine Divine Liturgy)