Philippians – Breaking it in.

To live is Christ. Rejoice in the Lord.I press on toward the goal. Every knee shall bow. The God of peace will be with you.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is packed more densely than double concentrated sardines, with simple yet profound gems of encouragement and theology. The last two months, for some reason, have brought me into contact with this awesome part of the bible a lot. The talks at camp were from Philippians, as were the devotions I was running for the leaders. A couple of events I have been to have pulled out parts of Philippians. I read a commentary a couple of months back. Most recently, I had a bible study on Philippians 4:4-9, which was awesome.

In the course of the next week, I will be putting up a few posts reflecting on Philippians. They won’t showcase such characteristic brilliance as might be found in Carson’s treatment, nor the same pragmatic use of Sam’s talks exhorting us to a godly lifestyle. Even so, there might be something in there somewhere.

Last weekend I was in Toukley for “Summer Exodus” – a church getaway for young adults. Mike Paget was speaking. As always, his message was strong, but it was his manner and example that confronted me. He is someone whose thought and speech are so clearly gospel-shaped. There’s another post coming about things I learnt last weekend, but I want to acknowledge this – I have been challenged to revisit the beauty and wonder found in the gospel. The beauty of God and his perfections. I’m hoping that as I go back over Philippians, that it might help me to clean out some of the cobwebs, you might say. I tend to easily fall into apathy, and my hope and prayer is that this year I can be entranced and awed by God. Philippians is one of those books that God uses to break through.

Mike recalled the imagery that has been impressed upon me in C S Lewis before – that of the veil. We don’t often see the reality of how things are – the immortal nature of humanity, the sovereign power of God, and the way he is making all things new. It’s a beautiful way to think of Jesus’ return; that the veil will be torn, the new will flood into the old, washing away all that is depraved and false, and the truth will be manifest in the lamb.

By now, I am far from my starting point. Sorry for dragging you here. Thankfully, it’s not a long walk back. I’m looking at Philippians, and maybe God will freshen your eyes as he has mine, that we would see his goodness anew.

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