March 12

Philippians 3:19-4:1

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.” vs. 1

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippians–it was a regular thing in his life–but this time it seemed serious. He was awaiting trial and wasn’t sure how that would go. In those days, prisoners could receive visitors, letters, and gifts and Paul had gotten all of those things from the little congregation that had sprung up after his visit some years before. He’d heard the usual gossip and knew that he was being prayed for–and he was exceedingly grateful. In his response, his joy was unrestrained–he didn’t know what would happen to him but he did know that they were remaining faithful to what he had taught. As he wrote he offered advice and counsel, but more than anything he let them know the depth of his love. He still hoped to be able to see them again and give hugs, but if that would be impossible he encouraged them to stand firm in Christ Jesus. We know what that is like. Each of us have crossed paths with folks through the years, become separated, and are grateful when we at least can get a newsy Christmas letter. Some of these people may have had a large impact on our faith lives, and what a blessing it is for everyone when we can reconnect with words of affirmation and love. So let’s do it!

Thought for the Day: Who can I bless with a love letter today?

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