Our scripture this morning is Philippians 1:27-30.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”
Paul writes to the church at Philippi with encouragement and truth about what they are called to do and to endure for Christ. He tells them “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”, reminding them that difficult circumstances are not an excuse for unchristian behavior. We would do well to remember this in our society today.
Our history is full of behavior that does not follow what Jesus taught. As His body on earth, the church must be an example in our words and actions. Too often we fall back into all too human reactions when faced with conflict. If we as His disciples condemn each other, how will the world see us?
We may have different opinions and different practices among ourselves, but we must treat each other with love no matter what. In the midst of His crucifixion Jesus forgave those who murdered Him. We must live up to His law of love. God doesn’t care about our petty disagreements but He cares very much how we treat each other.
Loving Lord, we are sorry for the times we have been hateful and hurtful to each other. Help us to be true followers of Christ, sharing Your love as He did. Amen.