I really do not know where this year is going; here we are coming into Lent. This year we are going to have a Pancake Party to start our time of Lent.
You will all have a copy of our Lent Study, ‘Living with the mind of Christ’, if you have not then do please ask for one. I hope you will take a moment during each week to work through each weekly section, I intend to be available to discuss these, if you would like, after church at coffee time, but if you are happy doing it alone then that is ok too.
The course is based on Philippians Chapter 2 verses 1-11. I thought that I would give just a little background on the Philippians epistle.
The church at Philippi was brought into being during the apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, which you can find recorded in Acts 16:12-40. Paul’s letter to this Christian Community has always been looked upon as a most personal tender communication.
From the record of Paul’s life, in the ‘Acts of the Apostles,’ we know of only three imprisonments. It is thought that it was during one of these that the letter was written. It obviously cannot have been written during the first, and at first sight it seems the choice is between his captivity at Caesarea and the 2 years detention in Rome. The traditional view is that it was written and dispatched from Rome. Paul was on trial for his life in the highest judicial court from which there was no appeal. But there are different thoughts about this.
Two outstanding features of the letter are; firstly the Philippians letter will always remain as a tribute to the apostle’s attitude to his sufferings. By the grace of God he is able to rejoice under the most trying circumstances of his captivity and impending fate. His constant call to rejoice is a distinguishing characteristic. The secret to this joy is fellowship with the Lord who is the centre of his life whatever the future may hold.
Secondly, no introduction to the letter would be complete without a reference to the great passage 2:5-11. Here we find Paul’s doctrine of the person of Christ and the nature and scope of Christian Salvation. For that reason the Philippian epistle will remain in the forefront of Pauline studies so long as the great apostle’s writings continue to engage the attention of Christian students. We are of course studying these verses as part of the Lent course.
I really hope you enjoy this and will so look forward to discussions about it during Lent.
I have asked Kirsty to print some documents into this months’ newsletter for me. As you may know I have to, as part of my studies, do an Action Research project. My question is: ‘How can I improve inclusion of those with disability in my congregation? ‘Because it is an academic study I need to make sure everyone who takes part has had sight of the ethics policy, an Information sheet and has signed a consent form. I really do hope that you will all help me with this and that we can maybe go some way to answering this question.