Letter to the Church

I am not sure about you; but for me, being “safe at home” breathed life into Holy Week and in Scripture in unexpected ways.

As I began reviewing the focal passage for this week’s series of devotions, tears formed in my eyes -- as these verses seem profoundly appropriate for this season. While I know we aren’t to add or detract from God’s Word, please bear with me as you read this passage with fresh eyes today with a few minor changes in italics. Perhaps, like me, you will more fully understand what it must have been like for the church in Philippi to receive this message from Paul and Timothy:

“LaRaine (or insert your name), a slave of Christ Jesus:

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Immanuel Baptist Church, including the overseers (ministers) and deacons.
 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
 
It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment (isolation at home) and in the defense and establishment of the gospel.
 
For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.


And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God”
(Philippians 1:1-11, HCSB).

Immanuel family, one joyous day we will be together to serve and worship the Lord! Until then, brothers and sisters, I really do miss you and pray that you are growing in your faith. Let’s continue to pray for each other.

By LaRaine Rice

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