Read Philippians 4:4-7

from Rev. Jayne Chafin, First Christian Church, Ravenswood

As I’m writing this devotion, it’s October. The days have already begun to grow shorter, darkness settles in for longer periods of time. Looking at my calendar, looking ahead, my December dates are filling up. Family, friends, shopping, decorating, all the busy-ness of this season.   By the time we get to this text in Advent, I’ll sure I’ll be feeling the crunch of it all. Maybe you will be, too.

“Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say rejoice.” How many times have I sung that? How many times have you? Were you singing it as you read it? So I know verse 4, and I know verse 7. Why do I not pay the same attention to verses 5 and 6?   Gentleness?   Don’t worry?   Really? I’ve still got cookies to bake, and that present for (fill in the blank), I have no idea what to get, what they’d like. The tree in the living room is not quite right yet. Is it going to snow? I’ve got traveling to do. I don’t think I have time to be gentle, God. I’ve got things to do, orders to give and carry out.

Step back, deep breath. Maybe this is what I need today in the midst of this busy season. Maybe that’s what I need every day. Less worry, more rejoicing. Less hectic activity and more gentleness. More peace. The peace of God, which flows through me and keeps my heart and mind on Christ my Savior.     That’s my wish for you and yours as well. This season, along with all the carols, let us sing with all our hearts: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

“And may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”