The introduction of Paul’s letter to the Philippians echoes many of the same sentiments as in his letter to the Ephesians. He is praying for them to stay firm in their beliefs and to grow in knowledge and love so that they will be filled with the fruits of righteousness when they die. We come to know and believe in Jesus and we need to grow in that knowledge. We are so much more fortunate than the Philippians or the Ephesians, the Galatians or the Corinthians or anyone else who lived in those early days of Christianity. We have the Gospels and we have the letters. Even though the Gospels were written in the first century, most people didn’t read and so didn’t have access to them. The letters were sent by messenger to the various communities and were read to those who were present. The Gospel stories were told by those who had known Jesus during his life and had witnessed his miracles and his resurrection. We can come to know Jesus from reading all of the Gospels, reflecting on them and asking God to help us understand how we can use the messages they contain in our daily lives. We also have the letters from Paul and the other disciples which help us understand what was going on in the early days of the church and which traditions were important to them. We also have the Old Testament to learn from and that gives us the background so that we can better understand Jesus’ teachings as they refer back to the Torah and the promises given to the Israelites. We have a better look at the whole picture because we can read the Scriptures from beginning to end. We have no excuse for not getting to know Jesus better and grow in our knowledge and love.