This Sunday is the first Sunday in August. It will be the first time that we gather in our building since March 8. You will want to read more about returning to the building in the August Visitor.
As we return to the building, we will continue in our study in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. Let me encourage you to catch up if you have not been able to attend worship. This week, we will cover the final verses of chapter 2. These are words that you might expect to read at the end of a letter. They might seem like minor instructions that only apply to the first readers of the letter. But don’t dismiss these verses too quickly. We can learn much from Paul’s comments regarding these two men who are planning on returning to Philippi. Paul’s description highlights characteristics that are worth heeding.
Let me encourage you to take a few minutes to read through these verses as you prepare for worship. I will include them below in the NTE version.
(Philippians 2:19-30 NTE) I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I in turn may be encouraged by getting news about you. I have nobody else of his quality: he will care quite genuinely about how you are. Everybody else, you see, looks after their own interests, not those of Jesus the Messiah. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a child with a father he has worked as a slave alongside me for the sake of the gospel. So I’m hoping to send him just as soon as I see how it will turn out with me. And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come very soon as well. But I did think it was necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. He is my brother; he has worked alongside me and fought alongside me; and he’s served as your agent in tending to my needs. He was longing for you all, you see, and he was upset because you heard that he was sick. And he really was sick, too; he nearly died. But God took pity on him – yes, and on me too as well, so that I wouldn’t have one sorrow piled on top of another. This has made me all the more eager to send him, so that you’ll, see him again and be glad, and my own anxieties will be laid to rest. So give him a wonderfully happy welcome in the Lord, and hold people like him in special respect. He came close to death through risking his life for the king’s work, so that he could complete the service to me that you hadn’t been able to perform.