If you enjoy puzzling over riddles, this blogpost is for you. The title is borrowed from a popular book published in 1964. It seemed an apt description of the paradoxical pattern found in Philippians, where the way up starts by going down. We usually prefer anything to the downward path, even when it’s not working for us. But in a world where “me first” and “give me my stuff” seem to be the mantras we live by, Christ showed a different way. Hint: it includes our failures.
Tags: Philippians2:5-11, Up the Down Staircase, Bel Kaufman, Michael J. Gorman, Richard Rohr, Nelson Mandela, Wilma Derksen
Winnipeg readers might remember a popular call-in radio show from the ’70’s called “Beefs and Bouquets.” For 30 seconds, callers could air praise or complaints about something going on in the community. In this spirit, Watershed’s teacher/pastor Paul Patterson thought it’d be fun to write to the 1st century writer of Philippians. Paul the Apostle was a gifted writer and visionary, but he could also be a name-caller and a bragger.
Tags: Philippians 3:1-7, Youth For Christ, Beefs and Bouquets, Gains and Losses
16/7/17 8:40 pm
We live in an age of Facebook “likes”, Instagram “followings" and text message chats, but can these online communities replace true friendship? Where is the friend who will love us “warts and all” or bring us soup when we’re going through a tough time? The community in Philippi had many differences, yet God broke down barriers and brought people together. What can Philippians teach us about true friendship?
Tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Saint Augustine, Jean-Paul Sartre, Abba Dorotheos of Gaza, Stephen Fowl
23/7/17 9:40 pm
Having unity while still honoring diversity among us is trickier than it first seems. We invariably start relationships off with high ideals and hopes, but life has this way of testing our aspirations. It doesn’t take long to experience each others’ sharp edges. How can we be a people who truly live the gospel we believe in, where everyone and everything belongs? Find out what Philippians 1:27 has to say about unity to our divided 21st century world.
Tags: Rodney King, M. Scott Peck, David Congdon, Fibonacci
13/8/17 8:24 pm
We’ve come to the last Philippians blogpost, and this week our topic is the ‘Christ Hymn’ in chapter 2. During the 10-week course, it has come up several times, and we couldn’t end without circling back to it just one more time. Its poetic description of the gospel story has been described as the center of gravity not just for Philippians but for all of Paul’s theology. Or to use a musical term, it’s like the overture for the whole book.
Tags: Bugs Bunny, Philippians 2:5-11, Cynthia Bourgeault, Michael J. Gorman