Saturday 31 March 2012

Poured out

There is a pivotal scene from the 1997 movie “Gattaca” I have been replaying in my head all week as I've been reading Philippians. Two brothers, Vincent and Anton, compete against each other by swimming out to sea. It is a game they've played ever since they were kids, a game they called “chicken”. Essentially a test of strength and stamina, both brothers would swim out to sea and they would keep on going until one would give up and turn back to shore. That person was always Vincent. He was always the “chicken”. Born with a heart condition, Vincent repeatedly lost to his younger yet stronger brother, Anton.

Now as adults, Anton was still the stronger of the two. Vincent continued to struggle with his physical ailment. Still, something had changed. As they set out to open waters, each time Anton turned aside to look at his brother, there was Vincent, pulling ahead. “How are you doing this, Vincent?” the bewildered Anton asks. Vincent keeps pushing on. Only towards the end, as Anton tires from the strain and gives up does Vincent reply his brother, “You wanted to how I did it? That’s how I did it, Anton. I never saved anything for the swim back.”

The apostle Paul, writing from prison, contemplating the possibility of execution because of his ministry in preaching the gospel, writes:

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Philippians 2:17

In considering the totality of his life, poured out for the sake of the gospel, Paul rejoices. He holds nothing back. Everything is spent for this one single purpose, towards this one single direction: to glorify Christ whether by life or even by death (Philippians 1:20). Finally, he calls upon us as Christians to do the same.

Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Philippians 2:18

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