Daily email from the Vicar Number 111

Welcome to Monday.
Our passage from the Bible today is Philippians Chapter 2 verses 12-18.  Read it first yourself and think about it before looking at my notes.
I’d forgotten how challenging parts of this “joyful” letter can be!
St Paul urges his readers to ‘continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling‘ (v.12).
This isn’t a reference to somehow earn one’s salvation by our own good works (remember we are saved by grace through faith), but rather a reminder that our salvation is not merely a gift received once and then ignored, but it expresses itself in an ongoing process of spiritual growth and development into maturity.
Part of this might be worked out by putting into practice verse 14, ‘Do everything without complaining or arguing‘ (deep breath at this point!).
Also we shine like bright stars in a dark world, ie we are seen and known to be different (v.15), but as we also hold out the word of life (v.16), ie we are not afraid to speak about Jesus (the Word made flesh) as the reason for why we strive to be different from the world around us.
These verses take me back to the first time I wrote something to others about living the Christian life, ‘shining like stars’ was the phrase that inspired me, when I contributed to our Christian Union’s weekly newsletter when I was a student the first time some 40 years ago.  I was a fairly new but pompous Christian then, and it is still something I need to keep learning and putting into practice myself!
In our extended church address list please remember in your prayers today,
–  Pat & Catherine
– Jotham and Jethro
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