“Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.” Philippians 2:28
As I read through Philippians 2:25-30, at first glance there didn’t seem to be much to discover in this passage. But as I reread it a few times, a familiar theme in Philippians began to surface – connectedness.
Epaphroditus has been sent by the Philippians to minister to Paul. Their love for him is so great that they send one of their own to bring aid and comfort to him during his imprisonment. Yet, while he is gone, Epaphroditus becomes sick, almost dying. The Philippians hear this news and they are so sorrowful, so concerned for their brother. And Epaphroditus himself is longing for his brothers and sisters at Philippi because he knows they are worried about him. Paul cannot bear to leave the Philippians sorrowing any longer and sends Epaphroditus back to them.
These people really love each other. Their lives are bound up together, their hearts joined to one another because of the love of Christ.
My heart aches sometimes because I do not consistently see this kind of love and connectedness in the Church today. And I don’t see it in myself either. There are reasons…..our culture is different, our society is more fast paced, etc…..
Reasons, but not excuses.
Jesus commanded us to love one another. And we have not obeyed. We may say that we love each other, but where’s the fruit? We are not involved in one another’s lives. We do not mourn with those who mourn. We do not rejoice to ‘spend and be spent’ for other believers. We disobey Jesus in this and justify it with our excuses.
I don’t want to do that anymore.