Philippians 1: 27 – 30
St. Paul writes: ‘….live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, …….’
The season of Lent winds down and we aim our sights upon the earth shattering events and celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, we remember that we are a community of care and sharing. At the very core of this celebration is the Good News of hope and life that exists through the life, the ministry, the death and resurrection of Jesus.
St. Paul writes: ‘…live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…’ This is a good reminder that we are always encouraged to live our lives as a reflection of the new possibilities and hope that come with the Easter Promise. The Apostle Paul is here writing to the people at the church in Philippi, in Greece, encouraging them to sustain their faith in the face of challenges and persecution that were coming from all corners of the Roman Empire. In the face of the heavy challenges to their faith, he is telling them to hang on to each other and strengthen each other.
But these days, in the 21st century in eastern Pennsylvania, we don’t worry so much about the challenges to our faith. But maybe we should. Maybe we ought to think about whether or not the challenges of everyday life, the aches and pains of the body, the weight of regrets and sorrows and loss, sleepless nights and restless days, have the power to take away the central hope of overcoming all these through the loving sacrifice of Jesus. And maybe, the cultural environment in which we find ourselves that says that having faith in God is old fashioned and not useful for the ‘modern’ person is a direct challenge to our principles. So yes, maybe we should worry some about the challenges to our faith.
But we are the Easter people, believing that from death there can come life; that from the end of one thing there is the beginning of something else. And this New Thing, is life without equal! So, we will attempt, to the best of our erring ability, to “Live our life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, standing firm in the Spirit’. We will trust that it is enough, by God’s grace. And we will gather together, telling each other the old, old stories and support each other in our faith.
Spring has arrived. I trust that you have a spring in your step in this new season. Especially, I hope that you have a leap in your heart as you await the wonders of the Good Things yet to come. We are the Easter people, looking for what is yet to come, which is ours through the One who has already come.
I wish you a very Happy Easter to you and to yours.
Your companion in Ministry,