Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7

The Peace of the Season

Popular Translation

4 Be joyful with God. I tell you again, be full of joy. 5 Let everyone know you are peaceful. After all, the Lord will be here soon. 6 So, donít get anxious about anything. Instead, let God know all that you need. Pray to him with a heart full of thanks. 7 Godís peace is greater than everything we know. With Christ Jesus at our side, his peace will guard our minds and hearts from worry.

Literal Translation

4 Rejoice always in the Lord, Again I say, rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord (is) near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every way let your requests be known to God with prayers and petitions in thanksgiving. 7 The peace of God, rising above everything the mind (can do) will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We Christians expect Jesus to come soon. At this time of year, we expect him at Christmas and at the end of time. This expectation can be anxious or joy filled. Paul gave us this choice. The first way leads all sorts of problems, especially in our relationships with others. The second way leads to peace with others, for joy is never assertive or destructive. Of course, such joy is a gift from God. It is based in a peace that transcends the limitation of the human mind and heart. But if we want to experience Godís peace, we must turn away from anxiety and open ourselves up to his presence.

So take the time, slow down. Enjoy the season. Pray in the spirit of thanks for the season. Let God give you his peace.

How have you slowed down this season? How have you enjoyed this season?