Sunday mornings are loosely structured around the Book of Acts. Early last year we began reading Acts together and giving time during each service to thinking through the issues each portion we read raised with us. But we have also been using the book as a historical spine that the other new testament letters fit into chronologically like ribs. So for example, when we got to Acts 8 and the first general persecution and scattering of the Jerusalem Church, we stopped and digressed into a series reading through the letter of James which was written to address believers at that time and in that situation. Likewise of course we wanted hear what it said to us, but first we got a hold of what it said to them.
So far we have reached Acts 16 and covered James as I mentioned, and Paul’s letter to the Galatians which deals with the controversies Acts records in chapters 15.
Acts 16 tells us how the Church in Phillipi was founded. It seems fitting them to stop now and spend some time in Paul’s letter to the Phillipians, even though it was written as much as ten years later. While we have the circumstances the Phillipians were in fresh in our minds we are going to spend some time in the deeply encouraging letter Paul wrote them after so much time. What strikes us is how close they remained though time and geography had separated them, and that is the nature of real fellowship, being based in Christ, it transcends time and place.