“Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,” vs. 27
Paul wants the community in Philippi to know that bearing the name of Christ carries with it a certain amount of responsibility. Accordingly, he reminds them that they are to live their lives in a manner worthy of the gospel, standing firm in one spirit and with one mind as a witness to the world. To put it briefly, unity is essential! We’ve heard this before from Paul and certainly we’ve heard it from Jesus. Nothing destroys the witness of the Church faster than squabbling and bickering over matters of faith! Conversely, nothing is more impressive than seeing believers united in love and witness–standing shoulder to shoulder–willing to endure oppression and suffering for the sake of the good news. So often we forget the communal aspect of the faith and think that it’s what we do as individuals that makes us faithful witnesses. Of course, our individual words and deeds are important, but it’s what we do together that can change the world. Would that each of us could find our identity in a community of faith where we can learn and grow and love, and also be united in a common mission that gives glory to God.
Thought for the Day: What is the common mission of my faith community?