This month we are gathering around Paul’s letter to the church he planted in Philippi. Like us, they were separated from one another. They had no idea when, or if, they would ever be able to see one another again. Paul wrote to his friends from prison, with no guarantee he’d ever be released or that the church would survive his extended absence. Things were—grim.
And yet Paul continually encouraged them to rejoice—in the midst of the uncertainty, in the relationships they enjoyed, even in their suffering. Paul wasn’t telling them to cheer up. He wasn’t guilting them into expressing gratitude. He wasn’t encouraging them to close their eyes and play pretend. He was clearly acknowledging reality and teaching the church why, and how, to rejoice—anyway.
Rejoicing is an act of resistance. Joy is subversive. The powers and principalities of the false culture that is passing violently away would have us believe that joy is a scarce and limited commodity—available only to a select few at great price.
But we know otherwise.
Listen in and hear how the good news of the gospel makes it possible for us to authentically rejoice at all times.