Saints and Servants

Sunday’s Scripture — July 31, 2022

Philippians 1:1-11 

Reflection

What a heartfelt beginning we reach in Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church!  His love and affection for this community is clear. When Paul addresses his readers as “saints,” he reminds them of their status: beloved believers whom God has called to a special purpose. In the first verse, Paul writes of saints and servants. Both of these identities apply to us today, too. We are God’s people called to serve Christ.

Paul gives thanks for the community of saints and servants he addresses. He tells them how he prays on their behalf, imploring that they would grow spiritually. Paul’s hope for this community is that they would be transformed by God’s love in Christ.

He lifts them up as partners in the gospel.  They have joined Paul in sharing God’s grace, working together as servants for Jesus. And Paul reminds this church that God will complete the good work God began in them.

Paul reminds this beloved community, “I hold you in my heart.” Just as judges commit to rule with fairness and doctors swear an oath to heal, Christians are called to love and serve.  Holding another person in your heart requires energy and commitment. We are all part of the Body of Christ, and so when we hold others in our heart, we commit to bear their burdens and share their joys.

As we celebrate All Church Weekend, consider the church community around you.  Notice the ways we live together as saints and servants.  Consider how you hold this body in your heart and the ways you pray with and for these people. Paul’s message to the Philippians was that the church would be transformed by the “righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” — all for the glory and praise of God. Amen! May it be so here!

Questions

  • How do you understand your identity as saint and servant?
  • What do you think it means that God “who began a good work in you will continue to complete it”?
  • How is God leading you to pray for the Northminster community?

Prayer

God of all peoples and churches, you have knit this community together for your glory and praise. Mold us into the saints and servants you would have us be, that we may continue to partner for the sake of gospel, sharing the Good News with the world you so love, while supporting and loving one another along the way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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