Tuesday, May 8
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
Remember that Nationwide commercial where the guy was on hold indefinitely waiting for a representative to help him?
Paul, one of God's most effective and widely traveled missionaries, couldn't be everywhere at once. He had established many communities throughout the lands, and each one needed time and attention to continue to operate smoothly as new communities of faith. So Paul had traveling companions. Sometimes they traveled together. Sometimes his companions traveled as representatives of Paul. Unlike the "representative" sought in this funny commercial, Paul's representatives were well loved themselves. Epaphroditus, one of Paul's colleagues in today's story even worried the Philippians when we became deathly ill. He was eager to return to them once he was well to show them he was ok and to continue to walk with them in their faith journey.
Who are your representatives? Who are your travel companions -- people who walk alongside you in your life's mission? Who know so much about you, they could step in when needed? My BFF knows so much about me, she was able to answer the doctor's questions when once I was too out of it from a surgery to answer for myself. It was a great moment, knowing I was so well loved!
Narrative Lectionary Text: Philippians 2:14-30
Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you— and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon. Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus—my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need; for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people, because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.