At the end of Paul's letter we learn that the Philippians had sent a "gift" (probably money) to Paul in prison to help him in this difficult time. So, when Paul speaks about being "content", is he only content because he now has some money/food/clothing etc...? We often associate "contentment" with "comfort", but Paul doesn't. He wants to make it clear, that while he is very thankful for the Phlippians' gift, the gift is not the source of his contentment. Paul is content because, he "can do all things through him who gives him strength." (4:13) In this last study of Paul's letter we are challenged by Paul's words to find our own source of contentment in Christ instead of money or stuff, or anything else.
Paul's letter to the Philippians doesn't say much about the Holy Spirit, in fact, the spirit is only mentioned 3 times. Yet, by carefully examining these three occurances we can learn some very practical ways the Holy Spirit affects our everyday lives. Join us this Pentecost as we learn about the Holy Spirit through Paul's letter to the Philippians.
Back in 2008 Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles was guilty of celebrating a touchdown that he never scored. He dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line. I guess he just got ahead of himself! We shouldn't be too hard on Desean Jackson - we do the same thing all the time: we get ahead of ourselves, thinking we've "arrived", when in reality we still have a long way to go in our Christian journey. Today in our fourth week studying the book of Phlippians, Paul encourages us to look to the future, but live for the present as we seek to run the race that is set before us.
What? "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?" (2:12) What is Paul saying?! It would be impossible to follow the example of Christ, especially if we have to "work it out" on our own! Thankfully, Paul continues: "For it is God who works in you, enabling you to both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (2:13) Today we investigate both the "ins" and the "outs" that are part of Christian living as we continue our journey through Paul's letter to the Philippians.
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.