The Tie That Binds

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Philippians 1:3-11
Philippians 2:1-7

On a family vacation, seven-year-old cousins Caroline and Melissa were virtually inseparable. One afternoon after a trip to the beach, one of the dads was impatiently waiting for them to get out of the van. He asked, “Why are you so slow?” and they responded “You’d be slow too if you were joined at the hips.” Simulating Siamese twins, they had tied themselves together with a bungee cord.

For Christians, being bound with the bungee cord of God’s love has rewards, but it also has its pain. For Paul it meant imprisonment. From prison he thanks God for his friends in Philippi who are bound to him as “partners in the gospel.” As he rejoices in them, he admonishes them to look beyond their interests to the interests of others.

Bonding has responsibilities. The ties of Christian love reach into our neighborhoods, our churches and sometimes much farther. A family whom I know provides hospitality to children from Third World countries who come to the United States for medical treatments. This often means waiting through long surgeries, many comforting visits to the hospital and then, during recovery in their home, countless hours of loving care and encouragement. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.” What does this tie of love lead you to do?

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, for the tie that binds us to You and to others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.