1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved (Philippians 4).
Is there any doubt of Paul’s deepest feelings for this Philippian folk? They are to him like his very own children — those whom he sorely misses when apart, and those who bring nothing but “joy” to his heart, and with a “crown” bringing validation to his life. The word “crown” here is the same word used for a laurel wreath placed on the head of the winner in an athletic contest. Surely, such a wreath brought validation to its bearer.
As a pastor, this verse is indeed relevant to me, and a sweet reminder that I see the flock the Lord has put in my charge as nothing less than “my joy and crown.” Indeed, face after face come to my mind, of members here at St. John’s who bring me much joy in my service to them. They are evidences that my labors are not in vain, and that I have a crown awaiting me.
Lord, thank You for the folks you have given me as pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church! May they be especially blessed of You This Day. Amen.