Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.
Reading: I rejoice and share my joy with all of you. In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me. (Philippians 2:17b-18)
Observation: Paul is talking about how he may be killed right before this statement about sharing joy. Although, I thought that it was important to know the context that this admonition to rejoice comes from, it is more valuable to me this morning to see the words apart from the suffering. So many times I have focused on the suffering that must come with being a disciple, and this morning I am reminded that this world is suffering enough that we need not be reminded of it. Also, it is very rare that we hear a call to rejoice, except during holidays.
Personification: Joy After hearing the words of Paul tell me to share my joy, it only makes sense that I would choose to display the fruit of joy in my life today. This fruit is not something that comes easily in most situations of life these days, because of the suffering of a lot of people in this world. However, I will make it a point today to show that it is possible to rejoice even when the only thing to celebrate seems to be our redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course, when we look at that redemption in the light of our unworthiness, there is a lot to celebrate.
Prayer: Lord, continue to allow me to see the great gift of redemption that comes to me through your suffering and death on the cross. Please help me to pick up my cross today and offer my suffering in union with yours on the cross and leave it there, so that I can rejoice and share your joy with others. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.