Worship Companion – June 13 2021

Friends care for one another.

Cornelis De Wael – “To Visit The Imprisoned” – ca. 1640

It is hard for us to imagine what Paul’s prison experience would have been like. Certainly it was not like what our modern prison system looks like. This painting called “To Visit the Imprisoned” gives us a peak into the mind of a 17th century person’s images of “prison” and shows us just how different they can be. The point here is that whatever shape prison takes — ancient, medieval, modern, or metaphorically, like a nursing home, or a disability that confines someone — the call to compassionately care for the imprisoned is a biblically mandated call to action for believers. The Philippians cared for Paul through prayer, a group gift and a messenger (remember Phroddy?). How will we care the for “imprisoned” of all kinds, around us ?
Anchor Texts:
Don’t forget to listen to Laurel Aldridge’s excellent recording of the whole letter one more time as we wrap it all up this week!
The Theme in Song:
This week the song I would like to share with you is a very simple one. With only a few lyrics and all of them based on benedictions of letters from the New Testament, I think this is the right song with which we should close our time in Philippians for now. Benedictions aren’t just a way to end a letter politely. They are powerful reminders of what is foundational to our lives. In the case of Philippians, Paul sums up everything by saying “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” This song borrows from a few longer benedictions, but I encourage you to meditate on the grace of God that is with you today through Jesus Christ.

The Theme in Art:

Potluck Mural – David Fichter – Downtown Cambridge, MA.

This mural was a project coordinated by David Fichter and took over 4 months to complete with the help of many volunteer painters. It was not just a project to make a painting, but an embodiment of the same type of communal activity that the painting sought to represent. While this isn’t an example of Ecclesial (Church) art, I think it gets us Christians thinking about the way the Church is called to be the greater fulfillment of this goal. We are called to more than just sharing food together; we are invited to feast together on the bread and wine that symbolize the presence of God that unites the church, and invites all peoples from every nation, tribe and tongue into God’s family. Yet, we also share in our practical, daily needs. We, the church, need to practice simple hospitality like this, too. Caring for one another in the basics is part of the gospel, just as we see in our anchor text today (vv. 14-15).
The Theme for Kids:
As usual, God has so much to say to us through the scriptures! We haven’t even had space to deal with one of the most well-known and encouraging passages from our text today – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” Good times and hard times, they’re all in God’s hands and I can get through any of it with His help. Watch this video from “the Treehouse” to find out more!


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