Thoughts on Philippians
Philippians is one of my favorite Epistles, but then again, I have a lot of favorites. But one thing that stuck out to me recently was the endearing language that Paul uses here. He writes things like “I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace…” (Phil. 1:7) and “I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:8) When you read Philippians you know that Paul loves these people deeply. He cares for them deeply. He yearns for them deeply.
His affections for them extend far beyond casual friendships. He considers them his own family. This is still so difficult for me to grasp though. I grew up travelling between two families. I had 7 siblings but I never had the chance to grow closer with them. I never felt a deep yearning and affection for them like Paul describes. But then again, I don’t know if any of us have. The love and affection that Paul is experiencing here is not a natural experience. It is an unnatural affection. A state of connection that cannot come from humans alone. It requires a love that is greater than human love … a supernatural love if you will. A love that can come only from a heart changed by the love and grace of our Lord Jesus.
When I read through Philippians I feel a deep desire to experience that type of love within the Church today. A love that has been built and refined on sharing in a common life. A love that bears with each other. A love that serves each other. A love that is supernatural.
Don’t you feel that too?
What are you going to do about it?