Sunday, October 20, 2013

The beginnings

In the beginning of this book, Matt says that the Philippian church is different from many of the other churches that Paul has written to, in that there is less admonishment and more adoration. Paul longs to be with them. "He considers the Philippians not just sheep in his care but friends in his heart, and in this book he wears his heart on his sleeve." (Ch. 1) Matt then goes on to give a bit of the backstory, by visiting the conversion of three people in Philippi. Lydia, a young girl cured of a demon, and the Philippian Jailer. 

I like the connection here, although some would argue that it might be a stretch, their names are not mentioned in the letter. True, but I would tend to agree with Matt that I do not think these three conversions are given in Acts for no reason. If anything, they do shed light on the diversity that God often uses when putting something great together. Think of the diversity of the disciples for instance. In this case, we have a wealthy woman, a middle-class working guy, and a poor slave girl. Hard to get much more diverse than that.

It is a different picture than most churches in America. Here we tend to define church in so many ways, racially, worship style, doctrine, etc. I do believe that the Philippian church was different. Maybe Lydia had moved on, maybe the little girl was relieved of the demon, but never found Christ. Maybe the jailer found a different group to worship with, a more middle class type.

Or maybe not.

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