If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, (Phil. 2:1-4)
Lord Jesus, do we have encouragement through our union with you? Oh my, Yes! Sins forgiven and robed in your righteousness; fully known and deeply desired; citizens of heaven and heirs of the new earth.
if any comfort from his love,
Only your love satisfies the longings of our souls, heals the brokenness of our stories; and comforts us in all our afflictions, sadness, and fears.
if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
And yes, the Spirit is telling us every minute of every day about the tenderness and compassion our Father has for us.
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
In response to your great love for us, Jesus, you call us to love others with the love you have lavished on us. That’s hard for many reasons, but especially important during a pandemic.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Do nothing from the motivation of selfishness and vanity? Jesus, you must help us. In light of C-19, this means we mustn’t live just for our own protection, but for our neighbors’ good. Hoarding is out, generosity is in. Social distancing is practiced, and personal freedom is limited.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Jesus, through the humility of your death on the cross for us, we have come to realize you value us beyond all calculation and imagination. May we value the riches of the Gospel 10,000 times more than the fleeting riches of this world.
Show us how to spend the limitless currency of grace on each other in wonderful, wise, and extravagant ways in the coming weeks. May we think of you above everything else. And may we put the interests, feelings, and needs of others above our own. So very Amen we pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.