By Pastor Mark Woodward
Maple Leaf Parish Spring Valley: Faith, Cherry Grove, Fountain, Preston (and Lenora) United Methodist Churches
In my own personal devotions I have been taking much comfort and joy from the writings of Paul in his Letter to the Philippians. I believe Paul’s writings in the Bible are timely for the days in which we live. Many people express to me how weary they are of dealing with all the complicated and polarizing issues of today’s world. I believe we are need to be in the business of encouraging and building one another up. Please take a moment and read these uplifting words from Paul who writes:
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, and fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in the Spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2: 1-4) (Paul goes on to describe the life and nature of the mission and ministry of Jesus.)
Philippians is a joyful, uplifting letter from Paul to the people of his day and to us in our world now… The other day, a friend expressed to be that there is always hope! In fact, they said I was sounding a bit like Eeyore in “Winnie the Pooh” that day – that is kind of gloomy! I must confess, I was having kind of a bad day and that we all need to take time to share in encouragement and building one another up!
I believe the words of Paul are extremely timely for our lives. In the midst of so many problems, conflicts, divisions and other confounding things, I invite us to look at the happy, joyful writings of Paul, who even though he was writing from a jail cell could see the awesome joy and hope found in Jesus Christ!
Yes! Paul speaks to our lives today and Paul calls us afresh to share encouragement and unity in Jesus Christ! I invite all of us, one of these days, to sit down with our Bibles in hand and read Philippians and let the Word of God bring encouragement and joy to our lives in the midst of these days.
Praise be to God!