We will begin the first month of 2020 by walking through the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This first Sunday we will read of the partnership Paul shares with the church in Philippi and the great joy it brings to him in spite of his current circumstances: imprisonment. From prison Paul prays for the new Christians of Philippi as they learn to balance their new call to follow Christ as citizens of Rome. In a day and age where our feelings are often dictated by our circumstances, Paul’s letter to the Philippians should serve as a great source of encouragement for us to find our joy in Jesus and our heavenly citizenship, no matter our circumstances!
Call to Worship: Psalm 63:1-4, 7-8
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
7 For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (esv)
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-7
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV)