Reflection :: Gospel Community
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
from an undated and anonymous papyrus
On you we call, Lord God, all-wise, all-surveying, holy, the only true Sovereign. Your will is that all should be saved and come to knowledge of the truth.
With one voice we offer you praise and thanksgiving; full-hearted, full-throated we sing you the hymn you have right to at this hour. In your mercy you called us (holy the calling!), taught us and trained us, gave understanding, wisdom, and truth to us—gave us life eternal.
You brought us back with the pure and precious blood of your only Son, freed us from lies and error, from bitter enslavement, released us from the Devil’s clutches and gave us the glory of freedom. We were dead and you renewed the life of our souls and bodies in the Spirit.
Give us the strength of your support. Give us encouragement, give the light that goes with it. Make us live by the faith preached by your holy apostles and the high teachings of the gospels of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we not be content only to hear and speak of them, but behave and act as they bid us.
Teach us to look upwards, to seek out and search the heavenly, not the earthly. If that is our attitude and if you act in us, what glory for your power, all-holy, omnipotent, worthy of all praise; glory through Jesus Christ, your beloved, with the Holy Spirit, now and through the ages.
*Prayer abridged and adapted from an undated and anonymous papyrus, on display in Berlin, published in Patrologia Orientalis (18:442), 1907.
Jonah 3 (Listen – 1:31)
Luke 8 (Listen – 8:09)