Lent Devotional in Philippians
"Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit. Amen."
“Oh, by the way, I got engaged.” It was the most casual announcement of the most significant news I can ever remember hearing. Something that was a once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing event was shared as if it happened every day.
The apostle Paul does something similar at the very end of his letter to the Philippians. As a final word, almost as an afterthought, he sends greetings from all God’s people, “especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.”
Don’t be fooled by the understated delivery of this line, tucked away at the end of the letter. This is momentous news. A life-changing event has taken place in what might seem the most unlikely place.
Paul is in Rome, under house arrest, for preaching that Jesus is Lord. And there, right under the nose of the notorious emperor Nero, some of his own servants have come to faith in the Lord Jesus. At a time of personal weakness, the Lord has used Paul and his ministry mightily. A miracle has happened in the household of Caesar.
The past 12 months have given us many reasons to feel weak and discouraged. But that is exactly where the Lord specialises in making the power of his gospel known. He is in the business of snatching many from under the nose of the Enemy, just as he was in Paul’s day.
And as we reflect this weekend on the events of the Cross, we see the wisdom of God to work in this way. Through the humiliation of his death on our behalf, Jesus triumphed over sin and death forever. In that place of greatest weakness, Jesus made known the only power to save.
Caesar is not Lord; Jesus is. And because of Easter, we can belong to his household.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom of the weakness of the Cross of Christ. And thank you for the power of the gospel that makes enemies friends and draws strangers into your household. May I delight in that this Easter, and may you work that same miracle in many others. Amen.
Written by Alastair Gledhill, Product Development and Communications Manager
Ali has previous experience working in digital communications, before more recently serving on the ministry team at All Souls Church. He has joined the team at CEM to help update resources and build engagement. He lives in central London.
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