sorrow is not the end of the story, that hate will not overcome love, and that despair will never drown out hope
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Often when we approach a certain place or a situation, we have an idea of what we expect to find there. It’s always surprising when we find something completely out of place or unexpected. A lone Bronco fan at a Raider game. A pacifist at a gun show. A democrat at a Trump rally. Laughter at a funeral. Finding something so unexpected typically throws us off and creates a sense of disequilibrium. It causes us to pause and evaluate. Paul’s comment at the end of his letter would have certainly had such an effect for the Philippian church.
Paul closes his letter his letter from a Roman jail writing, “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus… all the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” It seems like an innocent ending to an encouraging letter, but it’s so much more than that. When Paul tells the church in Philippi that the saints in Caesar’s house greet them, he’s alerting them to the fact that in the heart of The Empire, the name of Jesus is being praised. It’s probably the last thing one might expect to find in Caesar palace!
The subtle, almost passing comment at the end of this letter leaves the church with hope that God’s plan won’t be thwarted. It reminds the church in Philippi that God is still on the move – in subtle and subversive ways. It reminds believers all around the world that God can pierce the darkness with his marvelous light – even today. It declares to those who follow Jesus that sorrow is not the end of the story, that hate will not overcome love, and that despair will never drown out hope.
Take a moment today and encourage your soul by remembering that God’s alive, active, and renewing all things. Watch this video about the way God is drawing Muslims to himself and then pray that God would break into the darkness in your life. There is a church in CAESAR’S HOUSE!
By Ryan Paulson