Paul probably wrote his letter to the Philippians from prison in Rome. His experiences of beatings and imprisonment gave him credibility in encouraging his converts who were experiencing difficulties.
- Why do you think Paul placed such an emphasis on “Rejoice!” in his letter to the Philippians?
- What three pieces of advice did he give them as ways to deal with anxiety?
- Looking out at those who had come to hear him, what qualities did Jesus see in them? (Luke 6:17-23)
- What warnings did he give them?
- How does Psalm 34 reinforce the message of to-day’s readings?
- What does “the peace of God” mean to you? (Philippians 4:7)
- In Psalm 34, what is the function of “the angel of the Lord”? What does that mean to you?
Food for thought:
Paul’s appeals to joy in his letters to churches set in the midst of a hostile world are never simply encouragements. They throw back the distressed churches on their Lord. They are above all appeals to faith. “In the Lord” is the governing factor.