Joy in the most unexpected places

Daily reading: Philippians 4:4-9
Saturday December 19, 2015

Focus passage: Don’t be anxious about anything; rather bring up all your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.  Philippians 4:6

In Paul’s letters to the church in Philippi he writes in chapter four, “Rejoice in the Lord always!  Again I say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people.  The Lord is near.”  
These words were written while he was in a prison in Rome.  It’s not the message you might expect to hear from someone in prison, in fact it is his most joyous letter that we have of his.  The joy most likely comes from the hope he has in the community in Philippi and the working of the Holy Spirit despite the efforts of the government to silence him and the followers of Jesus. His rejoicing comes from a deep spiritual place that holds the promise of Advent that Christ is near and that Christ will return.  Joy to Paul was even present in the darkness of a Roman prison.
Prayer: Gracious God thank you.  Thank you for this day of life, thank that you have allowed us to wake up and draw a breath today.  We pray that you will grant us the wisdom and the boldness to live this day with courage and with commitment to the new world that you are at work bringing about in our very midst.  Give us Advent hearts; give us Advent hope, peace and joy.  Amen


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