Week 15: Philippians

Day 1: Philippians 1
Day 2: Philippians 2:1-11
Day 3: Philippians 2:2-3:1a
Day 4: Philippians 3:1b-11
Day 5: Philippians 3:12-4:1
Day 6: Philippians 4:2-9
Day 7: Philippians 4:10-23

O loving God, to turn away from you is to fall, to turn toward you is to rise, and to stand before you is to abide forever. Grant us, dear God, in all our duties your help; in all our uncertainties your guidance; in all our dangers your protection; and in all our sorrows your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

St. Augustine ELW 87

Our reflection for this week focuses on chapter four of the text, the conclusion of the letter to the church in Philippi. Here Paul restates what he wrote earlier, reminding the church to be joyful and what the marks of a Christ centered life are.

What does it mean to be joyful? What does always rejoicing in the Lord look like? Joy is more than laughing at something funny. Joy is a celebration of all that is good. Rejoicing in the Lord always means that we are deeply aware of the promises of our baptism and that our lives reflect that awareness. And how do our lives reflect that awareness? By being gentle, by praying faithfully, by holding near that which is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. And how do we do that? By doing things we have learned and received and seen and heard– things like love your neighbor, that we share in a death and resurrection like Christ’s, that we should not sin in order that grace may abound, that we should not be conformed to this world,  and that we should rejoice in the Lord always.

Joy and Christ centered living go hand in hand for Paul. Without joy in our faith we can’t live Christ centered lives and if we don’t live Christ centered lives we can’t have joy in our faith.

Brothers and sisters, as we continue our journey many we find joy in our faith and center our lives on our risen Lord. Amen.

1. What makes you rejoice in your faith?
2. In what ways is your life Christ centered? If your life is Christ centered what changes can you make?
3. How has our summer reflecting been for you? What have learned about yourself and your faith practices?
4. Which one of the many books that we read this summer stood out to you the most? Why? Which was your least favorite? Why?

 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation!

Come, all who hear; now to his temple draw near,

join me in glad adoration.