Worship Companion – April 25 2021

Welcome to our new series on the Letter to the Philippians!

Prison Ruins – Philippi – Tradition has it that this is where Paul and Silas were imprisoned (Acts 16)

Anchor Texts:
Acts 16:11-15 (But the whole chapter 16 sets the context best)
Each week for the next eight weeks we’ll be working through a portion of Philippians. We’ll be taking it about half a chapter per week. On a couple occasions I’ll be asking everyone to read the letter in its entirety before the next Sunday. The reason for this is that as we study portions, we should also keep reading the whole, so that our understanding of the whole letter grows. For the last week (or perhaps a bonus 9th week), I’m planning to take time in the service to read the whole letter together (perhaps with a few volunteers- hint, hint!)
The Theme: Partners
Each week we’ll also have a theme from our anchor passage. This week the theme is “partners,” inspired by the central point that Paul and the Philippians have been partners in the gospel. Their partnership is important because it ultimately has meant that Jesus us preached more and more. It’s also meant that Paul’s basic needs have been met, and that the Philippians have had an encourager and example in Paul (and Timothy and Epaphroditus) to follow.
The Theme in Art:

The Corn Harvest (detail)
Oil on wood
Pieter BRUEGEL the Elder

As I looked through various pieces of art that might relate to the introduction to Philippians, I found a harvest scene chosen for the relationship between harvest and the partnership necessary to evangelize and disciple the nations. There are many scriptural parallels between harvesting and salvation, and Jesus often spoke using the metaphor of harvest. Paul needed to partner with the Philippians for the harvest work that God had prepared for them. I thought this painting especially fitting, since it depicts not only the work of the harvest itself, but the community which the harvest creates among the workers. What parallels can you see in the phrase “partnership in the gospel” and this painting?
The Theme in Music:
The next video might not be as polished as what I usually put up here, but the flawless way he plays the vibraphone (I had to look up that instrument!) and the words of the song make it worth watching. In fact, I bet you’ll have to restart it to catch the words after you realize he’ll playing with 4 mallets at once and still hitting every note!

This second song doesn’t mention partnership, but the chorus states “we labour unto glory” – emphasizing the communal nature of our work as we follow Jesus together. Without stating it in so many words, this song is about the partnership of the gospel.

The Theme for Kids:
We all need a brief into to the life of Paul if we’re going to understand this person whom God spoke through to write this letter for the church in Philippi – and not just for them, but for all of us who follow Jesus and read the Bible!

I’m looking forward to listening to God together as we study and meditate on the  Letter to the Philippians – God Bless!

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