I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death,v10
This is a profound statement about values, saying that a relationship with Christ is more important than anything else. In our western world, we have the freedom to worship God in the way we choose. Paul gave up everything, family, friendship and political freedom to follow Christ. This may seem strange to us, but persecuted Christians in the world still have this decision to make. To openly follow Christ in North Korea will mean certain death, so Christians meet in secret, and carry no symbols of their faith. As Christmas approaches, remember the people who crept in beside Jesus at the manger, the onlookers, and the many who are never mentioned in the nativity story, yet still carried their memory of his birth with them through life, knowing that he as unique and special. This is the hope and promise many cling to today.
God Immanuel! Your name is to be praised Amen