Rejoice Always (15-06-22)
Bible Reading: Philippians 4:2-7
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
After an evening together with friends, at your home or theirs, do you ever have those last-minute conversations standing in the hall just as you or they are leaving, conversations that seem to cover a variety of random points?
I think that is what Paul is doing here as his letter to the Philippians draws to a close. He has already covered some important topics in the first three chapters and now he suddenly thinks of some other things he wants to say.
A couple of ladies in the church have fallen out, can you sort it?
And don’t forget to rejoice always: Yes, I mean always!
And be gentle to one another.
And remember this, the Lord is near. So, don’t be anxious, instead bring your concerns to God, and he will give you his peace.
I wonder, as you read through these final instructions, is there anything that catches your attention? Is there something there that resonates with something you are experiencing at the moment? Can you bring it to God and seek his way forwards?
Are there people in church you know who have fallen out? Could you help to restore relationships?
Are you experiencing some difficulties that are dragging you down? Can you turn your focus away from the difficulties and rejoice, giving thanks to God for the many blessings you have received?
Are there things that make you anxious? Paul says ‘Do not be anxious about anything – and he had a lot he could have been anxious about! How then could he say that? Part of it I think is a choice, and part of it is the assurance that the Lord is near. Instead of being anxious we can choose to trust God, to pray about the things that concern us and to leave them with him.
Lord, to those who are estranged, bring reconciliation,
to those who are downcast, bring your joy,
and to those who are anxious, bring your peace. Amen
Come, people of the Risen King