Thursday, December 17, 2009

rejoice!


This morning's reading was the book of Philippians. Four chapters long - packed with joy and hope. Paul addresses problems too, but in the midst of trouble, misinformation, misunderstanding and persecution there is JOY.

The angel told the shepherds - "I bring you glad tidings of great joy!"

It is fitting during this week before Christmas to reflect on joy.

These passages from Philippians chapter 4 remind us of the reason and the foundation of our joy:

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

14Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Love this passage. Is it possible to remain down in the mouth when you read, really read and ponder these words? I don't think so!
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All the sewing is done, bags are partially packed for our flight to Illinois on Tuesday. I purchased THE RIGHT KIND OF FLOUR yesterday (in my defense, most of the flour on the shelf was self-rising - I had to search long and hard for 'regular unbleached flour') and am ready to resume baking. The dust bunnies multiplied while I was occupied at the sewing machine, so I will be doing battle with them today.

Mom, Dad and I are headed to the grocery store soon to gather in food for the hordes approaching from the north. It is time to put the final touches on everything and get ready to celebrate.

REJOICE!!

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