Grace and Peace
The Apostle Paul spent a lot of time in prison. He was practicing “civil disobedience” before we had a name for it. His refusal to stop preaching the gospel kept getting him in trouble with the authorities. While in prison, Paul wrote some of his most famous letters. This summer we’re going to be looking at one of this prison letters, his letter to the Philippians.
The letter to the Philippians is marked by its joyfulness. Paul begins by saying, “In all of my prayers for you, I always pray with joy,” and he ends by saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” We should keep in mind that Paul was writing this from a prison cell where he was most likely chained to a wall, and he’s writing to people on the outside who are free – and yet he keeps telling them to be joyful and rejoice. That’s because Paul had a deep, internal joy that was not dependent nor contingent on external circumstances.
The theologian and writer Marva Dawn always capitalizes the word Joy in her writings. It’s as if Joy is a person, and not just an attribute. Paul certainly would agree because the source of his Joy was the person of Jesus Christ. According to Paul, to know Christ is to be filled with Joy.
Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am as we work through the letter of Philippians and explore the secret to joy and contentment.