It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Be tough-minded, not naive, a Reflection on Philippians 1:9-11

I really do prefer reading narratives and prayers in the Bible more than epistles. I like working out the story line in the narratives. I like being given ways of speaking to and listening to God. But, I get bogged down trying to follow the train of thought in the letters.

Here's an example of my trying to work out the meaning of this passage:

What Paul is praying for the congregation of Philippi--that they will use knowledge and insight to determine what to do so they will ready for the day of Christ. Paul's criteria--they will have produced a harvest of righteousness. I have to pause--does Paul mean that being pure and blameless precedes or causes righteousness or does righteousness come through Jesus Christ's efforts or some combination?

I turn to the commentary. It doesn't answer those questions, but answers the questions I should have asked:
Having prayed for their love for each other to continue and to increase, Paul suggests that they still have something to learn. His hope is that they will continue to improve their knowledge and deepen their insight. Be tough-minded not naive. (Carl R. Holladay, Preaching through the Christian YearC

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