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Rejoice in the Lord alway,
Be careful for nothing;
but in all prayer and supplication,
let your petitions be manifest unto God
with giving of thanks.
And the peace of God
which passeth all understanding
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesu.
-a 16th century phrasing of Philippians 4:2-7
The Church's Advent prayer pauses on this mid-season Sunday to rejoice: to anticipate the joy of Christmas and, as St. Paul reminds, to "rejoice always" and to "give thanks to God in all circumstances." That's scriptural language for having an "attitude of gratitude." It's important for us, especially in our troubles, to remember the good days and to treasure memories of past joy and peace even if those gifts seem not at hand today...
I rejoice, Lord,
in every joy I have ever known!
I rejoice in joys I've forgotten
and I rejoice in joys I've hidden
when I was afraid...
I rejoice in the simple things of my childhood:
I rejoice in summer days and winter snows
long since lost in my fading memories...
I rejoice in hopes that lifted my spirit
even if those hopes were not always realized...
I rejoice in those who have loved me
and in every friend and kind stranger
who has crossed my path...
I rejoice in knowing
that you desire my happiness, Lord,
and you desire peace and serenity
in my heart and mind...
I rejoice in knowing that even when I am sad
the gift of your peace and joy
In every circumstance
I give you thanks, Lord,
for I trust in your love for me
and because I know you love me,
(The lyrics of this musical selection are at the top of this post.)
Posted by Concord Pastor at 2:42 PM