Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Exodus 32.1-14; Psalm 106.1-6, 20-24; Philippians 4 or 4.1-9; Matthew 22.1-14 [Isaiah 25.1-9; Psalm 23]
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 85; Matthew 20.29-34; Exodus 32.15-20, 33.7-11a; Psalm 23; Romans 16.17-27
“…whatever is true…honourable…just…pure…pleasing…commendable…think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned” (Philippians 4.8-9)
After the school bus stopped for the rail crossing outside our regional town, my fellow school students and I would don our mandatory school hats and gloves instead of when we departed the train, as was required. Each day began with a school assembly complete with hymns, the whole school reading together from our JB Phillips Bibles and prayers. On specific occasions we read our school Bible passage Philippians 4.8-9. Hearing these words gave me some assurity about what is important and how I should live, but also raised some teenage guilt especially where school hats and gloves were concerned!
Paul provides advice about the virtues that should be foremost in the minds of Christians. In our world today, truth can be difficult to determine especially when we listen to media reports that include references to so-called ‘fake news’. Our Christian faith gives us some guidance about truth, but what other resources do you draw upon to ensure truth in your life?
Acts that are honourable and commendable are often linked with purity of thought. Such virtues may be at work in the community through care and relief organisations, as well as people who show respect for all. What examples of justice do you experience in your interactions with others in the family, community and on the global level?
Paul’s words encourage us to reflect, learn and lead a life where thoughts and actions that are not self-centred, but God- and other-centred.