Today’s passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds his original readers to, “Do all things without murmuring and arguing,” (Philippians 2:14 NRSV). Nearly two-thousand years later Churches everywhere can still learn a lot from this reading. Let’s be honest, it is not only in our Churches that we murmur and complain. If your family is anything like mine there is plenty of complaining going on Monday through Saturday.
The rest of the reading for today, Philippians 2:14-18;3:1-4a, is focused on realigning our attention on what is really important-the gospel of Jesus Christ. In my heart I want to be all about loving and serving God, but my biggest obstacle is my own attention wandering off to selfish pursuits. How I feel, what I want to see accomplished, my plans, my opinions, these all get in my way.
In a way, I think Paul is on to something here. First he tells them to stop complaining, then he reminds the Philippians to focus on Jesus. I’m not very good at paying attention when I am hungry or in bad pain, or too tired, etc. I need the reminder first to stop complaining about what I have to eat or how that comment someone just made makes me feel. Next I need to remember that life is not defined by what I need to get done next on my to do list. Stop complaining. Focus on Jesus.
Blessed Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me to death and back to life. Help me to say, “thank you” rather than complain. Teach me to share your love with those around me. Fill me so that I can forget myself. Amen.
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