Friday, September 26, 2014
If then there is any encouragement in Christ…
Congregational life draws us into relationships. It is not uncommon for our stories of faith to be linked to the stories of congregations. When we listen to each other’s stories we find the common themes of what sustains our involvements: worship, service, life-long learning, caring conversations and encouragement.
It all adds up to significance by the grace given to us.
Paul was full of hope for the congregation at Philippi. While away from them he still found encouragement and inspiration for his faith by their ministry. He felt their witness and their partnership. In spite of difficulties there was a source of joy in all that they shared together. An ancient hymn that proclaimed the person and work of Christ expressed the foundation for his hope when he wrote: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
From the presence and promise of Jesus came the experience of belonging, unity, compassion and humility.
The fall season in the church and its many activities give us fresh perspective and new found energy to participate more fully in the very movement of the Spirit among us. Our new Sunday schedule has brought us together in new ways and we are excited about the plans underway for creative learning and worship experiences for all ages.
This reading ends with the reminder that it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and work for his good pleasure. The translation very well may read it is God who gives you energy… A most helpful reminder as we move forward as a congregation that all our good efforts are sustained by the deep well of God’s activity in and through us.