Some of my favorite passages of Scripture can be found in Philippians. In it, Paul (and co-author Timothy in places) are writing to the people of the Way in Philippi, the first Christian community in Greece. I find the whole epistle to be filled with hope and optimism, perfect for these fearful COVID, #StayHome days. In this passage, Paul writes about contentment.
"I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4: 10-13 NIV).
Reread the Scripture above. Take special note of the words and phrases that are meaningful for you today. What prayers, concerns, rejoicings might you have right now? Take some time to think, perhaps write them down. What prayers, concerns and rejoicings might you have concerning others? What about your world and your nation? What about your community and the people of your local area? Your family and friends? What about your church? Are you living in plenty or in want? Where or how have you learned to be content? Where or how have you gained strength?
When you are ready, join me in the following Contemplative Call to Worship:
Leader: Lord, your people are not strangers to the cares of the world or the
love of God that bathes all of us in the light of caring and compassion.
People: We know what it is to be in need, and we know what it is to have plenty.
Leader: The light of God’s love
calls us to rise like crocuses in early spring and to meet the calls of those who are living on the margins.
People: We hear the still small voice that directs our aching hearts to make some kind
of difference in the world.
Leader: In this world of COVID crisis, economic uncertainty and social isolation, we desire to learn the secret of being content in any and every situation.
People: We do this through Him who gives us strength.
All: Lord, help us greatly rejoice in these days. Help us seek opportunities to show that rejoicing as we care, reach out, and contact others this week. Help us see that the kingdom comes to us as we live into the light of God’s
vision for humanity, of mutuality and of seeing one’s self in the eyes of another. Amen.