St John the evangelist
in the heart
of the surrey hills
Mad. Berry's Reflection
for week beginning 26th October
Philippians ch 4 v 8.
Whatever is true,whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
Paul writes this letter to the Philippians from prison, probably under house arrest in Rome. Yet it has been described as his happiest letter; in the previous chapter his direction to them has been to “rejoice in the Lord”. His circumstances were far from ideal and yet he seeks to encourage the church at Philippi; Paul says that he has learnt the secret of being content in any situation because he knows that he can do everything through Him who gives him strength.
He encourages his readers to think about the positive things listed in the above verse..and yet the sense here is not just to “think about them” but more to let them shape their attitudes and then to translate such thinking into action.
As we look at our world and the things that concern us--whether they be the big things like Covid 19, Brexit, the US election, or things closer to home in our families, our churches, our work...perhaps we can take Paul’s advice and allow the really good things that God has given us to focus our minds and spur us to action.
Lord as we look at our world we are aware of division and suffering; may we not lose sight of your goodness. May we allow that goodness to shape our attitudes and move us to action to bring relief and peace. Amen.