Given By Rev. Madison Shockley September 24, 2017
Today’s reading offers comfort for those who are struggling or under stress. Paul was writing this letter from his jail cell. He wrote to encourage his followers. His only crime was causing trouble. Some did not like his message so he was placed in jail. Prison has a way of focusing the mind. Martin Luther King Jr. also wrote a powerful letter from his jail cell. Like Paul, some did not like his message so he was placed in jail for causing trouble. Paul encouraged his followers to live a Christian life worthy of the gospel of Christ. His message: if he can live a Christian life while imprisoned, so can those who are free. Paul also wanted his followers to work together since together, they are stronger. Working together as allies, you are a united front against bullying. He reminded them that there will always be struggles. Life is not easy even if you live a Christian life. Struggles never ends. The meaning of gospel is good news. How is what we do as Christians good news to someone else? The oppressed do not choose their struggles, it comes to them. The phrase, luta continua, comes from the struggles of the last of the African countries to be granted independence in the 1970’s. There are many struggles. Choose your struggle to fight for!