My daughter has a poster that hangs on the wall of her room. The poster stops me in my tracks every time that I read it because it has an inspirational quote that has been a favorite of mine throughout my life and its meaning changes as I grow.
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me!" Philippians 4: 13
When I was in high school, I leaned on this inspirational quote for motivation as I strove to be an All-State award winning athlete. When I enrolled in seminary, the inspiration was comforting as I engaged a process of discernment to understand my sense of calling to the ministry. Now, Paul's words capture my imagination as my graying hair sense of self longs for the contentment he speaks of while in prison.
"I have learned to be content with whatever I have." Philippians 4: 12.
How does a chained man in jail speak of contentment, let alone a peace that transcends understanding?
The poster in my daughter's room is a stark contrast to the room from which Paul penned his love letter to the church at Philippi.
Look at a Roman jail cell and wonder this with me.
While you and I haven't been imprisoned in such dank and dreary confines, we have our own chains that constrict us that create worry rather than joy; conflict rather than contentment.
On Sunday, I will be preaching from the beautiful scripture Philippians 4. We will explore together what I have identified as the 3 Ps of the faith of Paul. Read the chapter and see if you can come up with your own list of the 3 Ps. I'm not going to tell you what mine are, so you'll have to come to worship and find out. I promise that you will leave the service knowing how to rejoice in all things. Oops. I just gave away one of the 3 Ps.
To God be the glory. Amen.