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Finding One Mind (Philippians 2)

Our position in Christ calls and obligates us to have the mind of Christ, to be as selfless as he was for the sake of and service to others.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service 

Our position in Christ calls and obligates us to have the mind of Christ, to be as selfless as he was for the sake of and service to others.


Prelude/Gathering Music:

“The Church’s One Foundation”

“Come, Celebrate the Journey” [see music notes]

Call to Worship: Psalm of the Day

How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion. 

For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life forevermore.    
(Psalm 133 NRSV)

*Opening Song: “Come, Celebrate the Journey” [Dwelling with Philippians p. 72-74, sung to ELLACOMBE] [see music notes]

*God’s Greeting and Congregational Amen!

*Song of Profession: “We Are Members of Christ’s Body

We Are Renewed in God’s Grace

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession:

Awesome and compassionate God,
you have loved us with unfailing, self-giving mercy,
but we have not loved you.
You constantly call us, but we do not listen.
You ask us to love, but we walk away from neighbors in need,
wrapped in our own concerns.
We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed.
God of grace, as you come to us in mercy,
we repent in spirit and in truth,
admit our sin, and gratefully receive your forgiveness
through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.   (TWS, 2.2.18)

Assurance of God’s Pardon: Ephesians 2:13-14

All: Thanks be to God!


Now to him who by the power at work within us
is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
  (Ephesians 3:20-21 NRSV)

Song of Faith: “Bersatu teguh / The Church that Is One” [GSW 38]

God’s Word Is Proclaimed

Prayer for Illumination:

O God, who has bound us together in this bundle of life;
give us grace to understand
how our lives depend upon
the courage, the industry, the honesty and the integrity of our fellow-people;
that we may be mindful of their needs,
grateful for their faithfulness,
and faithful in our responsibilities to them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.   (Reinhold Niebuhr, Hymns of Worship, 1939) 

Reading of Ephesians 4:1-6

Reading of Philippians 1:1-5

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: Finding One Mind

Prayer of Application

*Song of Response: “May the Mind of Christ, My Savior” [see also HW 209]

Response to God’s Word

Profession of the Church’s Faith:

By “the communion of the saints” we believe that,
first, that believers one and all,
as member of this community,
share in Christ and in all his treasures and gifts.
Second, that each member
should consider it his duty to use his gifts
readily and cheerfully for the service and enrichment
of the other members.  
(from The Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 55)

Prayers of the People [see liturgy notes]

Response: May love be ours, O Lord.

Anthem: “Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels”, Roy Hopp [see music notes]

Offertory: “Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way” [see music notes]

We Are Dismissed with God’s Grace

* Song of Response: “Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way”  [Dwelling with Philippians 2:1-4 p.???, sung to LAND OF REST or CRIMOND]

* Sending:

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
Put away from you all bitterness
and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander,
together with all malice,and be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ has forgiven you. 
(from Romans 12 and Ephesians 4)

*God’s Benediction and Congregational Amen!

Postlude: “Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way” [see music notes]

*Indicates standing if you are able.

The materials included here from THE WORSHIP SOURCEBOOK are used by permission from THE WORSHIP SOURCEBOOK, © 2004, CRC Publications. This permission is granted for one time worship use in an order of service for a congregation, or in a special program or lesson resource, provided that no part of such reproduction is sold, directly or indirectly. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Liturgy Notes

1.      Since there are two Scripture passages to be read, we suggest that they are read by different voices.  An adult and a child/youth, whose voices are different, will make these passages distinctive.  Be sure that whoever reads the Scriptures is well-prepared and reads clearly.

2.      The theme of the Scripture passage and the message of the sermon call us to make this a prayer that focuses on the significance of healthy relationships. The prayer should have three sections, and each section should conclude with a response by worshipers. The first section of the prayer can be affirmation for others and what they mean to us; the second section can be intercession for those others near and far who are in special need; and the third second can be a plea for unity in the body of Christ and a request for healing where there is brokenness. At the conclusion of each section the leader will say, “Lord, hear us….” And worshipers will respond with “May love be ours, O Lord.”  Immediately at the conclusion of the prayer, the anthem will follow and reinforce these thoughts.

Sermon Notes

Paul has high expectations of those who are followers of Christ. Nearly all his epistles have a “therefore” section – since you believe, “therefore” certain things follow. To the Romans he said, therefore be transformed and not conformed to the world (see Romans 12:1-2). To the Ephesians he said, therefore put away your former manner of life and be renewed (see Ephesians 4:22-24). To the Colossians he said, therefore seek the things that are above (see Colossians 3:1). There is a distinct manner of life which essentially flows from the fact that you are in Christ!

In this letter from prison, he uses the same methodology again but focuses this time on “being of one mind.” No cheap unity here! This is unity that is built on their identity in Christ, expressed through a selfless and unflinching focus on communicating God’s life-giving work through Jesus Christ to the world. In chapter one, he was even willing to overlook some mixed motives in certain preachers (see 1:15-18), and in chapter four he will exhort certain sisters that whatever personal differences they may have, they learn to set them aside for the sake of being “of the same mind in the Lord” (see 4:2).

It is hard to imagine that any words of Paul could be more urgently needed in the Church of Christ today. The fractured state of many families of churches, the persistent quarrels over non-essentials, and the never-ending brush fires of frayed personal relationships that most pastors have to deal with speak very clearly about how the strength of the Church of Christ is being sapped! Paul would have none of it!

And so in these opening verses of Chapter Two, which lead into the great hymn of the Christian Faith about the emptying of Christ, he firmly ties together their single-mindedness and their position in Christ.

His intent is not to tell us that we must have exactly the same opinion about everything. Nor does he intend to tell us we must be exact duplicates of each other. And he has clearly said in other epistles that we certainly will have different patterns of giftedness (see Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12). But he insists, for the sake of Christ, that we all have a heart that is as selfless as was the mind of Christ himself. A selfless heart will enable us to remain focused on the tasks of the gospel – selfish ambition and conceit will disappear, in humility we’ll each consider others better than ourselves, and we’ll look eagerly to the interests of others.

In other words…we’ll be like Christ!

Music Notes

1.      The prelude could be based on arrangements of “The Church’s One Foundation” and “Celebrate the Journey,” the text of which is in “Dwelling with Philippians. We are suggesting pairing that text with the tune ELLECOMBE. We have also included alternative harmonization resources for your use.


  • Organ:
    • Barr, John G. Three Preludes on Hymn Tunes. H. W. Grey GSTC 01079 [1992] (E-M)
    • Burkhardt, Michael. Six General Hymn Improvisations. set 2 Morningstar MSM-10-534 [1999] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Interpretations. bk. 5 AMSI SP-102 [1985] (E-M)
    • Hildebrand, Kevin. Musica Sacra: Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ. vol. 3 Concordia 97-7052 [2004] (adaptable for piano; E)
    • Hobby, Robert A. The Church’s One Foundation. Morningstar MSM-10-527 [2004] (M)
    • Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice. vol. 5 SMP KK323 [1984] (adaptable for piano; E-M)
    • Peeters, Flor. Hymn Preludes for the Liturgical Year. vol. 10 Peters 6410 [1966] (M)
  • Piano:
    • Marohnic, Chuck. Piano Meditations. Morningstar MSM-15-823 [2000] ( jazz styled; M)
    • Organ, Anne Krentz. Piano Reflections for the Church Year. Augsburg Fortress 11-11209 [2001] (E-M)
    • Page, Anna Laura. Blest Be the Tie. Morningstar MSM-15-838 [2008] (E-M)
    • Sowash, Bradley. Great English Hymns. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 978-0-8006-7879 [2007] (E-M; jazz style)


  • Organ:
    • Burkhardt, Michael. Five Lenten Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-309 [1990] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Interpretations. bk. 9 AMSI SP-106 [1992] (E-M)
    • Kerr, J. Wayne. (1998) Augsburg Organ Library – Lent. Augsburg 11-11036 [2000] (E-M)
    • Miller, Aaron David. Eight Chorale Preludes. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7756-0 [2005] (for manuals only–easier with some pedal; E-M)
    • Stoldt, Frank. Five Hymn Settings. Morningstar MSM-10-931 [1988] (E-M)
    • Travis, Albert L. Joyful, Joyful: 6Festive Postludes for Organ. Morningstar MSM-10-591 [2006] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (M)
    • Raney, Joel. A Triptych for Holy Week. Hope 8318 [2007] (M)
    • Raabe, Nancy M. Grace and Peace, vol. 2. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 978-0-8806-7901-9 [2008] (E-M)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 1 Ludwig O-05 [1975]

2.        The Anthem “Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels” by Roy Hopp is published by Selah 425-816. It is set for SATB voices and keyboard with optional use of congregation on refrains. This hymn text can also be found in the following hymnals - BRIDEGROOM: PH 531; TWC 597; W&R 400.  REINLYN: SNC 275; SNT 160.

3.      The text of the closing Song of Response “Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way” is found in Dwelling with Philippians on page 78. This text can be paired nicely with the tunes CRIMOND and LAND OF REST. The remainder of the service can be shaped by using music based on these two tunes – both for offertory and postlude. It can be very effective to have a reflective musical setting as a postlude.


  • Organ:
    • Held, Wilbur. The Lord Is My Shepherd. Morningstar MSM-10-420 [1999] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Carter, John. Songs of the Shepherd. Hope 1967 [1996] (E-M)


  • Organ:
    • Callahan, Charles. Six Meditations on American Folk Hymns. Concordia 97-6140 [1992] (E-M)
    • Haan, Raymond H. O Worship the King. Broadman 4570-42 [1979] (E-M)
    • Held, Wilbur. Seven Settings of American Folk Hymns. Concordia 97-5829 [1984] (E-M)
    • Sedio, Mark. Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ. Augsburg 11-10718 [1996] (E-M)
    • Stearns, Peter Pindar. Twelve Hymn Preludes for General Use. Flammer HF-5145 [1987] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Raabe, Nancy M. Grace and Peace. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7760-9 [2005] (M; jazz influence)
    • Sowash, Bradley. We Gather Together. Vol. 1 Ausgburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7562-2 [2002] (D; jazz)

Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations

  • CSW: Contemporary Songs for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • ELW: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress Publishing)
  • GSW: Global Songs for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • HW: Hymns for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • PH: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
  • PsH: The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • RL: Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
  • RN: Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
  • SFL: Songs for LiFE (children’s songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SNC: Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church, Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SNT: Singing the New Testament (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SWM: Sing With Me (Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • TWC: The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing)
  • TH: Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great Commission Publications)
  • UMH: The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
  • WOV: With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)
  • W&R: Worship and Rejoice (Hope Publishing)