During these days of waiting out the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, I and others are working our way through an online course on UDEMY with the distinguished scholar and teacher, N.T. Wright. It is my hope to write from my own reflections on the questions that are asked through the study.
In these few verses of Paul’s letter to the churches of Philippi, we learn that Paul is in prison. According to Paul, he is in prison for his allegiance to Jesus as Lord, as opposed to Caesar. Paul does not say this directly, but Wright thinks that way and I agree with him.
In our current times, many of us are imprisoned in our homes due to the coronavirus that is threatening the health and well-being of just about every people group in the world. So this passage offers some meaty reflection about our own allegiance. None of us in the Western world are imprisoned for proclaiming this Jesus as Lord. Unfortunately, quite to the contrary. We are pretty free to go about our business because of our reticence to proclaim such a bold allegiance.
Somewhere in this world, some are imprisoned for their Christian faith and their allegiance to the Christ as Lord. This is the persecuted church that thrives in places like China, India, and in many Islamic countries. Are they better models of allegiance for the Westerners? Would such allegiance perhaps bring about more trouble for the Western church in a secular world of commerce and busyness?
It is something to think about.