Read Philippians 3:4b-14

       If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
       Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.  More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.
        I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
       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,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

from Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bowman Thurston, Wheeling, WV:

            What a rich text! Paul gives his impressive resume in vv. 4b-6, then says it is “loss” and “rubbish” (using a much coarser word!) compared to knowing Christ, not knowing about Him, but knowing Him. Verse 9 is Pauline theology in a nutshell that is followed by a bombshell: Paul wants to be like Christ in suffering and death! Who among us prays for suffering and crucifixion? Paul knows they are essential to resurrection, to new life.  “This one thing I do” (v. 13) is a key to Pauline spirituality. Multi-tasking may be o.k. for a computer, but it kills spiritual life. (Remember Martha “busy about many things”?)  Forgetting the past, moving toward the future are central for Paul;  he knows life is always ahead, never in the past. After the sacrifices and suffering of Lenten life comes the glory of Easter.

Lord of Life, in these days of Lent let me know you.
Give me courage to leave the past behind and move toward the life
that is new each morning and the light of Easter’s empty tomb.
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