Philippians 1: 9-11
And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
I am moved that the “knowledge and full insight” for which Paul prays overflows not from our ability to plan, our learning, or our wisdom, but from love. It makes me think that Paul is praying for a different kind of knowledge and insight.
Love-knowledge is a biased knowledge. All outcomes and variables are not weighted equally. Relationships do that, they mess with our judgment calls and value systems. Relationships skew our choices and choosing—that’s the horrible beauty of the Gospel. And that’s what Paul is praying for.
God has chosen us for relationship. God has chosen a biased solidarity toward our broken and fallen selves. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus chooses us as God’s people and chooses the painful, costly way of self-giving love.
In spreading Jesus’ good news, Paul embodies a similar choosing. Paul chooses broken churches and hurting communities of faith. He allows himself to be wounded. He puts himself at risk. He writes this letter to the Philippians from jail.
That’s the kind of dangerous knowledge and insight that overflow from love. It is a knowledge that ropes us into all sorts of risky relationships and solidarities. It’s a foolish wisdom that produces “the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”
This Lent, I pray that we might choose a similarly knowledge born out of relationship. I hope that we, too, might allow God’s love in us to overflow and stir us toward a biased choice: toward those who are grieving, oppressed, wounded—those who are beloved by God.
Here’s a prayer for today: Holy One, thank you for choosing us. Help us to choose You and choose this world with each day and each breathe. Amen.
Today’s devotional comes from Billy Kluttz. Billy works as Evening Service Coordinator at Immanuel. Join us for Immanuel in the Evening on Sundays at 5:30 pm.