Daily Worship

That we might see

Linda Pollock April 05, 2022 0 4
Image credit: Unsplash
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Philippians 3: 4b-14 (NRSVA)

4b If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

“Say what you see…” Roy Walker from the TV programme, 'Catchphrase', would say this to the contestants. The problem is that we cannot or do not want to see what God is doing. For Paul the Apostle, he had to suffer blindness that he might truly see God (see Acts 9). His pedigree was irrelevant, all the hours he spent studying, debating, serving, and travelling for God meant nothing — because he was wrong about Christ Jesus and His followers. The irony of his temporary blindness is beautiful, and when he realises that he has misunderstood Jesus he changes his mind, his life, and his service to God. Instead of boasting about his status as a Roman citizen, a Hebrew born of Hebrews, and a Pharisee righteous under the law, he says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death…” (verse 10) Paul realises that the paradox of following Jesus, is that suffering produces joy. In desiring to share in the sufferings of Christ Jesus, Paul sees the source of joy… he notices that joy is found in sorrow because God is with him by His Spirit. Shipwrecked, flogged, falsely imprisoned, the list goes on, and Paul understands that Christ is sharing all that he is experiencing — including his sufferings — physical and otherwise! Irony and paradox are not always easy to notice, but if we can see all of life through the eyes of Jesus as Paul did, then we too will see the unnoticed joys in our suffering as well as our celebration.




Eternal God, remove the scales of ignorance and egotism from our eyes that we might see our true identity hidden in You. Help us to celebrate that You share in our suffering and, as we follow You, help us to share in Your suffering. Amen.

Lent Disciplines

Each day this week make time to say a short prayer for those feeling sorrow, who feel isolated or alone. How can you be part of making the world a kinder pace this week?