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. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.” vss. 1-2Philippians 4:1-5
For centuries Pauline scholars have wondered what it was that Euodia and Syntyche had been up to that caused Paul to mention them in his letter to the Philippians. Evidently both were equally culpable, but all we know is that they were active in the congregation, and were not of the same mind about something. Of course it’s not a surprise to find folks were bickering in Philippi, after all, the same thing happens regularly in every one of our faith communities. The reasons vary. There seems to be no limit to the things that cause people to get irritated and voice their complaints. Sometimes we disagree about matters of substance, but mostly the issues that come up seem petty and superficial. But no matter what the cause, the disagreements do affect the feeling of unity within the Body. For Paul this was a big deal–he wanted all the believers to have the same mind within the congregation that they had in Christ Jesus. And that can happen even when we have different opinions. We don’t all have to think alike or belong to the same political party, but we can be one in the Lord. And when that does happen among us, it really is a beautiful thing!
Thought for the Day: What do people bicker about in my congregation?