Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to lead others to peace.
Reading: Philippians 4:1-9 (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: So personal. I relish this insight to St. Paul. At other times he can be so rational, logical and heady. But here St. Paul is so relational. He calls by name those who do ministry with him. I sense that in addition to being colleagues they are friends.
How it hurts when friends fight with each other. You just want to step in yell “Knock it off, you two.” St. Paul, indeed, calls us to intervene in differences among us. And that is so scary. It takes a lot of skill and patience to mediate arguments. And it seems that the entire world is fighting. What are we to do?
There is what I think a magic word in Paul’s plea. Gentleness. “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Gently. Let us live gently with each other. That will help us, I think, when we need to help others be at peace with each other. Gently. And even more, living gently will help us from getting in disputes in the first place.
It is just so counter to the way we experience life today. Many relationships seem to me to be anything but gentle. How refreshing it would be to see gentleness in all our relationships.
Friends--Let us live gently with one another. --Jim Bricker
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