Do you know what the “canon within the canon” is?
When we talk about the “canon of scripture,” we simply mean the texts that we rely on as authoritative—the books that got picked to be in the Bible.
And the Bible is so large and complex that it is impossible to mentally hold the gist of every single chapter and verse. And so we have what we call “the canon within the canon.”
The canon within the canon is the scripture texts that speak to your heart with greatest depth.
They’re your favorites, the ones you come back to time and again, knowing they’ll have something new to say to you every time.
They’re the ones that come to your mind in times of darkness and times of joy, to give you strength and to express your exuberance in praise of God.
My canon within the canon contains some classics, like the Beatitudes (Blessed are the poor in spirit) and the Magnificat (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord).
Many of the psalms are in my canon within the canon, and some bits of Isaiah, the gospels and the epistles.
But today’s passage from Philippians is one of my all time top five Bible texts.
It expresses to me everything I need to know about Jesus, and everything I need to know about what Jesus is asking me to do. Continue reading