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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, March 16, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Philippians 3:17—4:1

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. (NRSV)

Life these days seems quite challenging. I suppose it’s always challenging. So let’s say I find it more challenging than I’d like. We continue to see our fellow community members suffering in ways that seem both outside of their control and totally within their control. This makes me ponder many of my assumptions and beliefs. It also makes me feel like withdrawing a bit, not engaging in the world around me.

But Paul gives us a message of hope and encouragement. He reminds us that many have strayed from the example of Jesus. But we don’t have to; we don’t need to follow them. Instead we should follow the example of Jesus. We should be reaching out and serving those whose needs are being ignored by the larger community. We should not retreat but motivate ourselves to set our sights higher—“our citizenship is in heaven”—and engage with others.

Especially when it’s difficult to do so.

Lord of us all, help me to find the courage to serve others and to engage in my community. Help me to remember that these actions can be grand gestures or seemingly very small ones. They all count. Remind me that the small gestures are just as important as the large ones. Amen.

Written by Lisa Garay, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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