Reflections: Friday of the 22nd Week after Trinity

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is often much of life that seems incomplete. There is always some academic assignment or work project waiting for its completion. If we are single, we think that we would be finally complete with a spouse. If we are given a spouse, our sinful nature thinks that we could do with a better one. I suppose that is a byproduct of life in this sinful world. In this life there is always something left to get done, always something incomplete. 

We are invited to a different perspective in our reading today. We are let in on Paul’s loving words to the Christians at the church in Philippi. His words are an encouragement for them. They may have been frustrated that the work of the Gospel wasn’t going as well as they had hoped. Perhaps the discouragements of life brought about by their own sins or the sins of others were weighing them down. Paul reminds them that they are loved by God and by him! They are pure and blameless in Christ and “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11). 

Despite their uncertainty, God was indeed at work in them. He saved them by the righteous life and death of Jesus. He filled them with the fruitful faith that comes through Jesus Christ. And that is what God has done for you, too. Don’t be discouraged, dear child of God! All the incompleteness of your life will be unknown on the day of your resurrection. On that day Jesus will say of you, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . enter in the [resurrection] joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). He has begun that good work in you and will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Jesus Christ, do not delay, But hasten our salvation; We often tremble on our way

In fear and tribulation O hear and grant our fervent plea; Come mighty judge, and set us free From death and ev’ry evil. (“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” LSB 508, st.7)