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Advent, Day 20

Someone shared this with me and I wanted to share it with you.  It reminds us that Advent is not a time simply to feel cozy and warm, that all the days are not warm and bright.  And yet, we hope in the one who came and will come again.  It's a great reminder of the power of gentleness and prayer.

Advent Meditation on Philippians 4:4-7
 By Justin K. Coleman  

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7  

When we survey our world today the encouragements offered in Philippians 4 don’t seem realistic. In the world and perhaps even in the church that I inhabit, gladness and peace are fleeting. Over against the inertia of the world, Paul offers the church two transformative practices in this passage: gentleness and prayer.  

There is strength to gentleness. In my work as a mentor to at-risk youth, I found that when I would first meet a young person with a troubled past, usually their response would be to put up a wall. The world for them had been harsh and polarized, so rigid defense seemed to be the only safe alternative. How do you dismantle the wall? With gentleness. Tender, loving compassion toward others turns out to be more powerful than the walls that separate us.  

The news contains no shortage of reports of violence and potential threat. How is it possible for those who follow Christ to not be anxious? Prayer. A person or community could seek any number of ways to be insulated from potential thereat, but doing never replaces praying. Prayer opens us up to God. Scripture speaks of God granting a peace which passes all understanding. This peace and trust are gifts and byproducts of God’s indwelling presence.  

This Advent season, As we continue to live in anticipation of the coming of Christ, may God shape us into a people of gentleness and prayer for the life of the world. Amen.

I hope you'll join me today as we pray for the world, as we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, and looking forward to the day when he comes again.  

Posted by Laurie Weicher at 7:00 AM
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