Paul wrote the book of Philippians during his second journey to Philippi, where he found an invaluable environment of love and support in comparison to the other places he is known to travel to within Scripture. Unlike many of Paul’s letters, his address to the church of Philippi is full of thanksgiving and gratitude. For him, Philippi was clearly a place of comfort, joy and stability, similar to how I feel about the greater community of Goshen.
When I first read this verse, it reminded me of the many things I wish I could publicly announce in indebtedness to this place and these people who have impacted me in powerful ways as well. But most importantly, Paul’s emphasis on the importance of loving one another with more depth and understanding than that of yesterday is something we should convict ourselves to in the same sort of acknowledgment. When I reflect on the love I have experienced while being a student at Goshen College, I am overwhelmed, yet heartbroken for those who have not been shown a similar model of Christ’s love all over the globe. I cannot help but question if I, as a global citizen and passionate learner, am helping spread the equal, unconditional love that Paul encouraged of the church of Philippi in this letter. If not, how can I use my gifts to do so? If yes, how can I do more of it?
I would encourage each of you to go out on a limb today and remind somebody that you support them in a way that you have neglected to communicate to them lately. As Paul promises, you will be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.” Amen.