October 2020 Beacon
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7
I don’t know what the specifics were between the two of them. The Apostle Paul must have known what was going on. He cared enough about the situation to ‘plead’ with them to ‘knock it off.’ (That’s not how he put it.) His hope was that Euodia and Syntyche would agree with each other (‘in the Lord’). Along with Clement and other believers, these women had served the cause of the Gospel…but ‘tension’ now seemed to prevail.
Do you know anything about tension? Confusion, uncertainty, chaos, disasters, and the list could go on, characterize what people are dealing with today. Some may think that the world is spinning out of control. Does this lead to tension? It certainly can!
Not too long ago, a pastor was telling of how their church was experiencing ‘being on a roll.’ More people were attending than ever before. They had completed a nice building addition that had been needed for years. There was a sense of momentum in ministry that had not been present before. This was an encouraging report! And then…COVID
[Euodia and Syntyche are not getting along.] This pastor was already thinning on top, but the process has been expedited! He explained how the opinions about wearing face masks to church has been a hot topic – fiery red, if you will. Those who seemed as if they were walking hand-in-hand not too long ago are not as ‘buddy-buddy’ now. Do you have any suggestions for this tension?
In the ‘Euodia-Syntyche’ context, the Apostle offered this: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:4-6)
You probably noticed the many ‘sermon-starters’ in his words. You could land on the need to worship and focus on the One who created you. (He emphasized this with repetition.) He spoke of the need to allow true Christian character to prevail. Jesus said something like this when He called His followers ‘salt and light.’ In Matthew 5:14 he said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise (or glorify) your Father in heaven.” Prayer was also given its due.
And then Paul pointed to what many living in tension need a heavy dose of today: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Do you think it did that for those two ‘quarrelers'? Maybe each one took a step back and listened to what Paul had to say and applied his words of truth to their lives.
If you know Jesus as your Savior, you can experience this peace spoken of in God’s powerful Word. Ask Him to help you apply it in your life today.