Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Philippians 1:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
We are in the middle of what is for sure the strangest time of our lives. Our lives are being reordered in many ways. We are encouraged to stay away from people and distance ourselves. The church is certainly trying to adapt to this new way of being.
My reflection today is about the church. Paul was in prison and away from the church. I can imagine your pastor thinking and praying just like Paul today. Your pastor is thinking constantly about you and giving thanks for you to God. Your pastor (hopefully) is not in prison, but your pastor is forced to be away from you at this time. Remember that your pastor goes to God on your behalf even when there is no church service. Your pastor rejoices over you and prays for you.
In turn, I remind you to hold your pastor in your heart as well. Remember to pray for you pastor and like the Philippians hold your pastor in your heart. God has given you a pastor to care for your soul, but as Paul writes, “for all of you share in God’s grace with me.”
We are in this together, let us pray for one another, let us continue to share in the work of the proclamation of God’s love to the world.
God, you have given the gift of the church to the world. I pray that we would become your body on this earth and that we would pray for one another and share in your work in new ways that we are forced to explore. Amen
Go with God!