Philippians is often called "the joyful letter". "Joy" and "rejoice" are used some sixteen times, showing that the author was very much captured by the theme. Which could be surprising if one considers this letter was written in a prison cell. But not surprising to those who knew the man who penned these words: Paul seemed to live on another plane. Paul doesn't so much tell us here how to be joyful, or that we can be happy. He simply lives in the experience and lets it spill out of him. Its the joy of another world, the joy of heaven, the joy that rests secure beyond circumstances. And while its one thing to talk about the life Jesus came to give us in an analytical way, its another thing to experience and embody that life. Paul embodies the life he talks about.
This series will remind us that one of the greatest joys we can know is that of healthy spiritual community. When a community forms around the person of Jesus, learns his life, walks in his love and truth, what comes about is an experience of community that is nothing short of exhilarating. There is nothing like it anywhere.
We will discover, with Paul, that a sense of vital relationship with Christ and each other is the bedrock of our spiritual joy.