Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice.
Reflections for a Church in Lockdown
Finally my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me and for you it is a safeguard.
‘Don’t you realise, Paul, how tired we are now? How much we’ve faced over the last few months? Has no-one told you about the closure of our churches, about the fear gripping the world, about the recession and the mental health crisis, about the risks of infection? Has no-one told you that we are not even able to sing? This is your message for us in the midst of a pandemic?…’
In this, the final episode of series 4, Bishop Steven explores how to live out this extraordinary command to rejoice.
Questions for discussion from Philippians 4:
- Read back through the letter and highlight the many different references to joy and rejoicing. What are the obstacles to joy which Paul confronts?
- Look back over the last four to six months of the COVID pandemic. Where have you found joy even in the midst of trials and difficulty.
- Write a prayer or a psalm along the lines of Habbakuk 3 describing the call to rejoice despite outward circumstances.
- How has the experience of lockdown changed your life and your discipleship? What lessons are you taking into the future?
Image: Shutterstock. The short music clip is taken from an exquisite live recording of ‘Ode to Joy’, here on YouTube