Paul really loves these guys!
He thanks God for them every time they come to mind.
And when he prays for them he says he prays with joy. Always.
And the reason he prays with joy is because of their partnership in the Gospel.
Their κοινωνία (koinónia) in the εὐαγγέλιον (euaggelion).
Their fellowship in the GOOD NEWS.
I am a keen reader of The Lord of the RIngs. In the Fellowship an unlikely group of travelers come together with a single purpose. Although they don’t stay in a single band for the entire adventure, their common objective binds their hearts.
This is what Paul is saying to his beloved Philippians. Although they are separated from each other, they are united in heart and mind in the work of the gospel, the good news. And THE good news is this: God loved the world SO very much, that he gave his one-and-only Son, Jesus Christ, to bridge the gap between HOLY GOD and self-centred HUMAN. And in Jesus Christ’s victory over death, we can now know our HOLY GOD in an intimate way through his Holy Spirit. And His Spirit binds our hearts and minds in Christ! A fellowship of followers.
The Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (which is translated here as Gospel or Good News) originally meant a reward given to the messenger for good news (εὔ = “good”, ἀγγέλλω = “I bring a message”; the word “angel” comes from the same root) and later “good news” itself. inherent in the GOSPEL is the idea that this GOOD NEWS is proclaimed, that the fellowship is one of proclamation.
Paul is saying: “I pray for you with great joy because we are united in the FELLOWSHIP of BEING MESSENGERS of the GOOD NEWS from the first day of this adventure until now, and I am certain beyond any doubt of this, that Christ, who began this GOOD WORK in you will continue working until the work is complete on the day of Christ Jesus.”
The koinonia of euaggelion —
the Fellowship of the Messengers of Good News