You’ve Got Mail!

So imagine you’re the church in Philippi.

Paul has done work in your area a while back. He came and taught, spending time in the household of a neighbor, Lydia. He got in to some trouble with the local officials, and while in jail he ministered to fellow prisoners and even though an earthquake loosed his chains and could have freed him, he remained. In doing so he kept the prison guard from taking his own life, and later this guard and his whole household believe in Jesus.

You believe what he taught about Jesus and seek to follow his teaching, even in a city that has shown itself to be hostile. There are some things that are familiar to the Jewish faith, and Jesus seems to be a continuation, but there is a radical newness to Christianity, as well. As much as you try to hold on to Paul’s teaching of the gospel, you have still have questions. Other teachers have come around and are spreading a message that doesn’t quite sound the same, and that troubles you. You’re also troubled because you know Paul himself has again found himself imprisoned in Rome.

You worry about him and the work he is to do for the gospel of Christ. Can he still spread the word?

To your delight you hear that your church has received a letter of encouragement, and it is from Paul, and from his fellow servant Timothy! You’ve been given the chance to hear it read for body of believers in Philippi. At the end of the day you all gather together in a home that you’ve frequently used for meetings–for prayer and worship, and you sit down to hear the news. He writes:

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…

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