Scripture: Philippians 3:15-21
Key verse: (16) Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
Reflection: When I imagine “holding fast,” I think about clinging tightly, holding on for dear life, and refusing to let go. However the Greek word that Paul uses here is a technical military term that means “to move in battle formation.” To hold fast means to stay in the right place while moving forward, to march according to the directions. Don’t break ranks! The military term made sense to the Philippians because the city of Philippi had many Roman military veterans who had settled there. The Roman army taught that moving together would bring victory, while abandoning one’s place or moving separately would bring loss.
March together toward what we have attained. It’s a bit of a paradox – to move toward something you already have! One commentator suggests we are running toward the one we trust, toward Jesus Christ. We have already been claimed and called, forgiven and welcomed. We journey toward a goal that we know we already have reached. We move together toward the open arms of Jesus Christ who waits for us with joy.
Faithfulness is a group sport. We do not journey alone, but we journey together in community. Paul encourages us to move together as we journey toward Christ. That takes effort and patience. There’s an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” On this Holy Week, what does it mean for us to journey together toward the cross of Good Friday and toward the empty tomb of Easter morning? Spend time with a faithful companion today and share how each of you have experienced the presence of Christ in your life in this season of Lent. Walk alongside someone else and move closer to Christ together.
Prayer: Almighty God, you have united us as your people in Jesus Christ. Keep us walking together on the journey of faith. Give us a deep assurance of your presence with us. In Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].