Today's Lectionary Text
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
I must admit I read parts of this Scripture with a full dose of side eye. I think I can safely say that the perfect storm of pandemic, social unrest, election season, parenting a differently abled teenager and general weariness have me worn down as I write this.
I wholeheartedly agree to rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice. I hear one of the many songs sung in the churches of my youth with these lyrics. As a person with anxiety I have trouble with the ‘do not worry’ portion of the Scripture, but I do believe strongly in the power of prayer. I’ve had a season where I felt that peace that passes all understanding and I desperately want that feeling back. It took a health crisis to get it, and I’d rather not do that again but, in that season, I surrendered to His healing and His comfort.
As Christians and in general. I think people do try to do the right, honorable thing. We are so fractured on who gets to decide what the right thing is and what it is I’m troubled on how we will get there together.
But I see the promise at the end of the Scripture, the comfort, and the commission. Keep on doing those things we have been taught, we have learned, and we have seen in others that are good, and honest and pure. In those things we will attain the peace we are so desperately seeking in this moment.
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Prayer for Reflection
Beloved God help us to rejoice in you always. To keep you close at hand at all times and especially during the rough, rocky patches. We are living in a world in tumult. Help guide our hearts, hands, and feet to be your people in this hurting world.
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