Our focus for October 12 is Philippians 4.1-9:
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
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.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
In the Lectionary Study Group (which still meets each Tuesday at noon!) we discussed the idea that it’s difficult to rejoice always, because we tend to be dwelling on (obsessing about?) the past and looking forward to the future, but rejoicing is something we do NOW. We then thought that perhaps being in the present (instead of dwelling on things we can’t change in either the past or the future) is the key to the peace that passes all understanding. This also made me think of my time in Egypt, where people add “insha’allah” (God willing) to everything they say–they say “see you tomorrow, insha’allah” and “we can meet on Monday morning at 10, insha’allah”…etc. It used to drive me crazy, but at the same time I think it might be a helpful reminder that we are not in control of the future, only what we do right now. And knowing that, we can be at peace and rejoice. (TCP)