Bible reading: Philippians 4v4-7
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’
Reflection: Despondency, tension, and anxiousness are rife in the world. Whether we look at a wide-angled view of society and politics, or whether we focus in on families, groups, or individuals, it is clear that there is great need regarding peoples’ present condition. To this end, Paul and Timothy write not only that we should pray, but that when we do we will have our hearts and minds guarded by the peace of God.
Where there is anxiousness, we should pray; where there is tension, we should pray; where there is despondency, we should pray – and in all things there will be peace. That is not our logical assessment of what should happen – certainly it is beyond our understanding – but time and again throughout history it has been proven to be resonantly true.
It is out of that peace that there will come an ability to rejoice, to be gentle, and to be calm; and it is through that peace that we will be drawn into Christ. As we pray for peace to be found in particular lives, situations, circumstances, groups, families, individuals, and places, may we find an end to those things which would destroy and overpower, and may we find an increase of rejoicing, gentleness, and calmness. And ultimately, may we find that our neighbourhoods, our regions, our nation, and the nations are drawn ever deeper into Christ.
(Tim Lucas- Saltbox)
Give thanks for the godly peace that comes when relationships are restored.
for reconciliation in broken families in our city;
for a unity of political will over Brexit in UK Parliament and the EU;
for the role of churches as peacemakers in communities suffering unrest or injustice across Europe.