Until I heard the news that I wrote about in my other post today, I was going to go in a different direction with Philippians 4:8. That passage is one of the earliest Scripture passages I specifically remember reading. I was 13 or so years old when my parents took me to a bookstore in the mall to get a book signed by Karl Mecklenburg, one of the star linebackers for the Denver Broncos. He had just written up his journal of one of the 80s Super Bowl seasons for the Broncos and I was excited to read it. I remember that below his signature he wrote, “Phil. 4:8”. I wasn’t quite sure at that time what that meant (after all my Dad was named Phil, so I might have gotten a bit confused). Anyway, after figuring out what he meant, I went home and read those stunning words in Philippians.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
It must have made quite an impression on me to still remember that now some 30 years later. Those words have taken on new meaning for me in recent years as I see one of the ways that God has gifted me is the ability to see the true, the worthy of respect, the just, the pure, the lovely, the commendable, the excellent, and the praiseworthy around me – sometimes in rather unusual ways. But ultimately all of these “whatevers” are seeing Jesus around us. It is seeing it in the simple – like the light shining through an overpass or a single flower in the midst of many other plants. Or it is something like this – a literal representation of Jesus (a stunning gift I received from dear friends a week ago). All of them seeing Jesus.