Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Mission as sharing Christ
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (V.4)
Rejoice in Christ – “Sacred Music”
The letter to Philippians is one of the Prison epistles of St. Paul. The Philippi church is founded by Paul during his second mission journey (Acts 16:9-15) and is the first European church. The members of this church are very close to his heart because of their care and concern for him and due to their prayerful financial support to his ministry.
Key exhortations in chapter 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always – ( 4:4)
“Joy” is the principal theme of this letter. The word “joy” and its verbs “rejoice” and “be glad” are mentioned 16 times in this short epistle. Paul is citing his own example to teach them how to be joyful. It may sound ironic to talk about rejoicing while suffering for Christ in prison. How can one rejoice while going through such a difficult ordeal in life? This is a challenging question for today’s Christians - how to rejoice and share Christ with others while being over whelmed with the worries of life? In our pursuit to build a life for ourselves and our children, we distance ourselves from God and fail to find everlasting joy and peace in our lives.
Paul’s source of Joy is founded in the Christological hymn recorded in ch.2:5-11which describes the condescension (Self-humbling) of Christ and the Exaltation of Christ. The description of Christ as a servant to be imitated is the most famous passage in this letter. Paul’s joy is in knowing Christ and in glorifying Christ in his body through his suffering. He is joyful about the spread of gospel amidst all adversities.
Do not be anxious about anything. We live today in a very anxious and worried world where millions of people are seeking help for troubled minds and worn-out spirits. But Paul is giving the ageless advice on how to get everlasting peace. Do not be anxious about anything; instead submit your needs to the Lord in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. (V.6). There is no peace without prayer. Without peace, you have no reason to rejoice. The peace of God will produce a calm heart and mind. This peace of mind will be further enhanced when there is a focus on holy and righteous things. Don’t fill your mind with unnecessary worries. Instead fill it with true, righteous, holy and virtuous things (v. 8).
Prayer: O God who loved us through Jesus Christ
You are the source of our true joy
Help us to experience the blessedness of your presence
In our daily toils and struggles
So that we may magnify you in our lives
And share the gospel to others
In Jesus’ name we pray – Amen.
Thought for the day: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts”. (Colossians 3:16)
Susan Johnson, St. Mathew’s MTC, Toronto