In 1964 Walt Disney produced what some people consider to be his crowning achievement in live action film making. That year Mary Poppins was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and won 5, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. In one memorable scene the whimsical nanny reached into her magic carpet bag and produced a tape with the ability to measure character. To the surprise of her young charges, she measures Michael as “extremely stubborn and suspicious” and Jane as “rather inclined to giggle and doesn’t put things away.” When asked to measure herself, she announces, “Just as I thought: ‘Mary Poppins – Practically perfect in every way!’”
If there’s a picture of Christians that the world has, don’t you think this is it? We’re judging everyone else, but our view of ourselves is that we’re “practically perfect in every way”. So then, we’ve got two kinds of people at church – people who are constantly being told they don’t measure up, and people who think they are nearly perfect. Yikes!
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi about his spiritual growth he said, “I have not already obtained this, or am already perfect…” Phil. 3:12. Paul knew better than anyone that even though he possessed all the righteousness of Christ (Phil 3:9), he was still learning how to live it out on a daily basis. Of all people, Christians ought to be the most gracious to others since we know how MUCH we’ve been forgiven for and how FAR we still have to go!
This Sunday we’ll celebrate the deep security we have in knowing Christ through communion and then look at the “race” of our lives and how we keep pressing toward the finish line!