Jack Roeda

READ : Philippians 2:12-13

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (v. 12)

Paul is not saying that you work out your salvation and I work out mine, each in our own corner. Rather, we are to work together to have Christ formed in us and among us.

Garret Keizer writes that of all human professions, perhaps none provides a more useful metaphor of what it means to work out our salvation together than that of a midwife. He quotes one midwife who says her role includes knowing “when to speak, when to be silent, when to laugh, when to hug, when to be pliant, and when to stand firm. How to be ‘mit wife.’ With woman.”

To work out our salvation together requires this promise to be with one another, like the midwife, with confidence and in fear and trembling.

I once heard someone tell adult children that the most important help they can give their aging parents is to simply show up, regularly. As church members we owe each other no less.

We help by showing up, but the power of that kind of help is cumulative. The value of showing up is in direct proportion to the number of times we’ve shown up before.

We work out our salvation when we are faithful to each other over the long haul.


O Christ, be formed in and among us.