“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6).
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a memoir of thanksgiving. It’s filled with expressions of love and appreciation for people who meant the world to him. The Philippians expressed their faith generously and humbly. They sent Paul money when he needed it because they were deeply concerned for him. But that wasn’t the only reason for Paul’s gratitude. Paul recognized that serving them made him a better man. He speaks here as one of them. He brought them the gospel, and they set an example for him. It was Christian community at its best. So Paul could confide in them: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
It always takes some kind of remembering to produce any kind of thanksgiving. We can remember lots of things and be thankful for them. But our best remembering is about people. Our best thanksgiving is for people we love and long to see because we share a life that is worthy of the gospel. I may not know you, but I will thank God every time I remember you.