On the Same Side
Philippians 4:4-9 MSG
"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
My favorite sport is basketball. There is nothing like watching it, being engaged with the many players and experiencing how it can be like a ballet of sorts as each player moves in-tune with the others, performing the perfect basket. When everyone is working together and on the same team, so to speak, it is perfection. However, when one person tries to make it all about him or her, the entire team will fail. We see opposing players left unguarded which seems to end with the basketball being stolen and a great and awesome lay-up shot ending in a beautiful dunk for all to see.
We are reminded in Philippians to make sure that folks know and understand that we are working together rather than at odds with one another, for being fellow Christians means that we will operate as a people united.
We need to all be about the team and the art of working together. Whether we are working together on a sport's team, in the workplace, at home, church or somewhere else, it is apparent we do much better when we check our egos at the door and concentrate to what is best for all.
There are times when life can make us anxious and our concerns can leave us unfocused and worried. However, God can change how we react even during times of when great uncertainty is expected. In those times we realize that through prayer we become changed. Scripture tells us that Christ displaces the worry in our lives. Through Christ's love and action, we realize that peace can come even in uncertainty, beauty can be realized in things the world calls ugly, and our best can be found in what others would label our worst. How Christ sees the world with all its imperfections as God's masterpiece reminds us that we are God's beloved masterpiece as well, worthy of God's love, comfort, peace and care. May we be mindful of God's good work in us and the beautiful dance we care to take part in with Jesus.
Prayer: O God, Creator of Masterpieces, we thank you for your love and care for each of us. Help us to dance in tandem with our brothers and sisters, sharing your love with others. May we celebrate the successes others achieve, as we experience the love of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. Laura C. Kelsey, Author
Rev. Kelsey is proud to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac, MI. Together with the faithful and loving worshipping community at FPC. she enjoys sharing God's Word with others, working to help folks experience God's love and discern their direction in life, and lovingly reach out to the greater Pontiac community.