St. Andrew's-Cheney Memorial Church
February 2002
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The Mind Of Christ

During Lent we commemorate the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness in prayer and fasting. While there Jesus was also tried and tempted by Satan. Those temptations were primarily for the mind of Christ. The mind is in fact the place where victory is won or lost in the spiritual life.

St. Peter gave us some good advice when he wrote, “Foreasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind....” (I Peter 4:1a) We are advised that we should defend ourselves spiritually by thinking the way Christ thought.

Lent is a time for each of us to take a serious look at our spiritual condition and to do the things necessary to strengthen our spiritual selves. The place to begin is the mind. Our goal is to think like Christ that we might then live like Christ.

To accomplish this we must know something of the mind of Christ. What was it that filled the mind of our Lord? First, the Father’s will was always paramount in the thinking of Jesus. In the garden He prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.” (St. Luke 22:42) St. Paul later wrote, “For Christ did not please himself; but as it is written, `The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.`” (Ro. 15:3) The first step in thinking like Christ is to have the will of our heavenly Father foremost among our desires..

Christ’s mind was also set on the accomplishment of His mission. Nothing could deter Him. “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (St. Luke 9:51) Before returning to heaven Jesus gave us His disciple a mission. Our goal is to fulfill the Great Commandment to love God wholeheartedly and to love others as we love ourselves and to complete the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel throughout the world. We should dedicate ourselves to our mission as Christ did to His.

In all things humility characterized the mind of our Lord. St. Paul admonished all Christians, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8) If the Lord of glory is humble, how humble should we be?

A Christian mind is not thinking like Christ occasionally or only in certain situations. A Christlike mind is a state of character. How is such character developed?

The first requirement is that we have a model of good character. That we have in Jesus Christ. We need to study Him and meditate on Him. By nature we humans are imitative beings.

Secondly, we should practice thinking in a Christlike way. We must be intentional for this will not happen automatically. We must purposefully shape our minds. St. Paul wrote of how it was his practice to “...take every thought captive to obey Christ....” (II Cor. 10:5b)

Practice eventually becomes habit. After a period of time we will begin to habitually think in a Christian way. There are good habits as well as bad habits and we must choose which will predominate in our lives.

Finally, a character is formed. And Christlike character is our goal. Salvation is more than freedom from guilt and its consequences. The goal is the restoration of the image of God, which we see in the incarnate Son. Our objective as believers in Christ and recipients of His justifying grace should be to become like Jesus in our character. Aided by the Holy Spirit this is possible.

by Rev. F.M.Levi

Parish News

The chapel and narthex were painted early in December. The new color scheme is very attractive and creates a warmer atmosphere.

The Sunday School-Preschool Christmas Program took place Sunday afternoon, December 16, 2001. The program was well done and well attended. Thank you to all who helped.

The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was also well attended this year. The service began with Lessons and Carols followed by Holy Communion. The music from the choir was excellent as always. Thank you to all who brought refreshments for the reception in the parish hall.

Thank you to Steve & Sue Horosinski, Nancy Toomey, and Elaine Spencer for decorating the chapel for Christmas.

The food and paper goods donated to the Tinley Park Food Pantry are much appreciated. Thank you for your contributions.

Synod to Meet

The annual Synod of the Diocese of Mid-America will meet on February 22, 2002 at Church of the Holy Trinity, Houston, Texas. Do be in prayer for this important event.

Ash Wednesday

Feb. 13, 2002
Pot-luck dinner - 6:30 p.m.
Evening Service - 7:30 p.m.
We will meet on Wednesday evenings throughout Lent. All are invited to the dinners and services.

Missionary of The Month

Pray for Bishop Oommen & Mary Samuel and their children. Pray for improved health and strength for both Oommen and Mary; for the continued building of the work at Bansi, for their daughter Susan and her husband, and for their son Brian and his studies.

Domestic Missions

Please pray for Bishop and Mrs. Fincke (Ann), and their children Katie, Emily, Elizabeth, and Andrew. All Saints Reformed Episcopal Mission in Vacaville, California.

Happy Birthday!

Feb. 1 - Anna Zaleski
Feb. 3 - Adele O’Brien
Feb. 9 - Mike Acke
Feb. 14 - Edwina Greco
Feb. 23 - Lorie Conn Stultz

Four Goals Of Lent

1. Re-discover a Personal God... Have you ever felt religion and the Church have failed to satisfy you? You may be right! Churches fail but God does not fail. Come and seek Him personally. In quietness look behind the forms and symbols to the living God.

2. Discover yourself... Set apart this brief amount of time each week to consider what you are really like, what your real needs are, your wants and fears. Here is a chance to escape stress and strain and meditate upon the serious aspects of your life.

3. To gain Self Mastery... In studying the Master of life we see afresh the secret of abundant living. Reality if filled with hardship, disappointment, sorrow, defeat as well as Joy, Happiness and Peace. A Christian is not exempt from these realities. However our own Lord Jesus Christ lived, met and overcame all these. We hold our Lenten meetings to learn of Him these lessons of life.

4. Finally we meet as a testimony to the community to say that this is a Church of men and women who believe and remember, and are proclaiming the “good news” of Christ, a lighted, active church is a fine testimony.

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