Prayer: May your love envelop us all year long, dear Lord. May the spirit we feel this time of year continue throughout our lives. Amen.
Reading: Philippians 1:1-11 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: During the Advent and Christmas seasons, I often hear folks say, “Why can’t it be Christmas all year long.” They get caught up in the great feelings of joy, love, peace, and hope that accompany this season. People tend to be nicer and life’s mood tends to be happier during this time each year.
In our lesson for today, Paul writes to the Philippians that his prayer is that their love overflows more and more. He writes in the context that as they learn more about and grow closer to God, they will become pure and blameless because of their good fruit. When I read those lines, I thought about how people could and should take these feelings they have in this season and let that love, joy, hope, and peace help them to create a life that is better. Our lives are truly better because of Christ coming to live with us.
My prayer is that the love you feel during this time of year continue into the new year and beyond. And the peace that passes all understanding, keep you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. –Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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