Good morning! Liquid sunshine is pouring down!
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Last night I went to a concert to see this woman, Ani Difranco. I am not going to lie this is my favorite artist of all time. Last night she out songs that advocated for women and sang labor songs and sang old songs and new. The Crystal Ballroom in Portland was completely packed and I was near the front. Like I said, I get a little excited about these concerts. She had us all sing out during some of her songs and during her new stuff, the room was a hush.
There was only one thing that really really bugged me. The moment she took the stage, everybody’s phone came out. People started flashing pictures and pulling out iphones to record. It was super crazy! No one said that people shouldn’t be taking pictures. No one took the phones away. And I will be the first to admit my hand started to grab for the phone but then I stepped back (well, not literally because there were so many people crowding around me). In that moment, I wondered if people were really experiencing the moment. Here is the opening song and the band is setting up the culture and feeling. The place is moving and I have not been part of such a great crowd in a while. And yet, probably half of the group missed that moment. I later noticed that when the concert really got going or when people were extremely moved, the iphones came out again.
It was as if people could not mentally capture the moment, they had to mark it. Friends, for today at least….PUT AWAY the cameras. Even on your phone. Instead of reaching for the nearest recording device. Enjoy the moment.
Instead of this..
Put it down and enjoy this…
Life is ready for you to savor. Enjoy and you will remember. If our lives are so full of experiencing kids, art, races, life in general, through a lens, the very thing we are trying to savor we may just miss. Life is too short.
Paul acknowledges that the church in Philippi is so successful due to their experiences of God. They have been there the whole way he writes to them. He goes on to ask them to continue to love and pray and experience God. Let’s do the same.