Philippians 1:1-18a Paul in prison, thankful for the Philippians’ partnership in the gospel.
This the start of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. It shows an interesting side of Paul. Paul writes to them out of the beginning of the history of the Church. These letters are going to end up being foundational to the character of the Church, and I think we need to pay attention to that as we live into being Christ’s church today.
Paul does a couple of things that establish the tenor of the community. The community strengthens him. He prays for them. He celebrates them. There is a longing from Paul to the community gathered, and his prayer is for them to be more, be better, experience and witness to Christ’s love more fully.
He shares his life, and turns what might be bad news towards good news and towards The Good News. He incites the community to proclaim Christ from goodwill. And then he mentions again that Christ makes it work regardless of the motives.
For a church in stressful days, how important is it for us to hear and to tell of the ways that God does what God does, and that God can turn evil to good? How much does our world need to hear us declare that truth, and how much do we need to proclaim it to one another to remember its truth?