Ringing in a new year is often a time to look forward. Many people will make resolutions or goals for how they plan to live in the coming year. While it's not a new year's resolution, I can assure I've been thinking a great deal about Redeeming Life Church and 2015. And I'm excited for what's coming this year.
As we continue to discuss what Redeeming Life Church's future looks like, I'd like to direct your attention to Philippians 2. What a great chapter to meditate on for the new year!
The chapter opens with a directive for unity. Paul says, "complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind" (Philippians 2:2). This verse is loaded, but really he's saying be one in your thinking and one in how you love. He continues by encouraging the Philippians to be humble and selfless. We do this--according to the chapter--because Christ first did this for us.
In light of this unity, bought by the sacrifice of Jesus, we are also instructed on how we ought to live as maturing Christians. We see that the believer should be growing and learning. In addition, he or she should be serving without grumbling. And when we do this we become brighter lights for Jesus in a dark world.
Verse 19 through the remainder of the chapter is really cool. We get to see two examples of some really bright lights. Timothy, which many of us are familiar with, and Epaphroditus, which should be the name of the next boy born in our church (unless the parents prefer Polycarp). Timothy loves like no other and is "genuinely concerned" for the welfare of the Church in Philippi. Epaphroditus seems to have brought some funding and supplies to Paul for his ministry and imprisonment, and he was likely the one to bring Paul's letter back to Philippi. Epaphroditus almost died serving Christ alongside Paul. This is one cool dude! Paul calls Epaphroditus "a brother and a fellow worker and a fellow soldier" (verse 25). How would you like that said of you? I'm kind of thinking I want that written on my tombstone one day, because I hope that's how I live my life.
As we look to the work God has called us to in the northwest quadrant of the Salt Lake valley, it is very clear that we will need the kind of unity Philippians 2 is calling for. Some of us (I pray many of us) will hopefully be like Timothy and Epaphroditus in our service to the Kingdom.
As you look at Philippians 2 in your House Fellowships, I'd like to encourage you to think about what 2015 looks like for you? How about for Redeeming Life Church? In what ways might God be calling you to be like Timothy or Epaphroditus or both? What might be stopping you from being a "brother and fellow servant and fellow soldier"?
I'm praying for an amazing 2015 in the service to our Lord and King. Will you join me in this prayer?
* The 15th Century image of Epaphroditus is in the public domain.