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Sunday Scripture Reflection: Philippians 4:1-9

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

On this Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, we will explore the final words of Paul's letter to his Christian friends in Philippi. This Scripture text is not just the end and blessing of Paul's letter, but lasting and insightful words about the benefits of an intimate relationship with God, which is developed through regular prayer, worship, and mission to others. We will explore the idea of experiencing joy at all times, even in the midst of trouble; and the idea of the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding."

Our Scripture passage is found in the letter of Paul to the Philippians. The Scripture passage may be found by following this link: (Philippians 4:1-9).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • After reading the Scripture lesson (the closing words and blessings of Paul to the community in Philippi), reflect on what you have heard from Paul, particularly focusing on his encouragement of helping others in the community (identifying people by name) and giving them hope of having "joy at all times."

  • After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the idea of sharing the work of the Gospel with others; that we are never alone in our work for God's mission. Does this help with the idea of having "joy" in life?

  • Consider the many circumstances in life you have found yourself experiencing - is it truly possible to "rejoice at all times?" And what might be the emotional impact if you believe joy at all times is possible, but you are experiencing difficulties sometimes? Is there harm to one's mental well-being if "joy is expected" but not achieved?

  • Consider the statement and reflect: "Joy is a discipline of perception, not an emotion dependent on circumstance."

  • After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, consider how ordinary acts in life can become bearers of God's love in the world.

  • After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the idea that prayer and joy go together; and reflect on the statement: "Prayer here is relationship with God, not a technique."

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