I’m working my way through Philippians with an online course with N.T. Wright. The letter is written by the Apostle Paul when he was imprisoned. It was not the best of circumstances for Paul, however, as he writes it was not going to stop him from sharing the good news story of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and Lord overall. And it wasn’t going to stop Paul from continuing to bolster up and support the churches of Philippi.
Paul writes “It’s right for me to think this way about all of you. You have me in your hearts, here in prison as I am, working to defend and bolster up the gospel. You are my partners in grace, all of you! Yes: God can bear witness how much I’m longing for all of you with the deep love of King Jesus.” (Kingdom New Testament)
This makes me think about our current time when most of us are imprisoned without jailor being the coronavirus COVID-19. It is not the best of circumstances for the Church, however, we should be like Paul not allowing it to stop us from continuing to tell the story of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and King, while also bolstering up and supporting each other.
We are blessed to have available a variety of means to share in this grace that Paul did not have. His means was word of mouth and letters. Today we have the postal system, telephones, the internet, smartphones, tablets, and computers that allow us to share the good news of the story of Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and King, and staying in touch with one another, sharing our stories.
Let us share the gospel too as we give a glass of water to someone who is thirsty, as we feed the hungry, as we clothe those who are naked, support to children who need internet connections to keep up with their homework during this extended time away from the physical classroom, and in so many other ways of caring. Do it the name of Jesus and it will bear much fruit.
There are many of you who are already at it. I am astounded by many of my clergy colleagues who are continuing to lead their congregations with every means available to them. I give thanks to all the people of the church who call, write, email, and message others of the churches, as well as their neighbors. And those who are on the front lines of doing battle with COVID-19 whose hearts are full of compassion and love.
Thanks be to God, thanks to all of you already serving King Jesus.
Love God, Love Others, and be safe.