Day 206 | Sunday, 11 October 2020
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice in it!
The assigned scripture readings for this the 19th Sunday after Pentecost are: Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Philippians 4:1-9 and Matthew 22:1-14. Let me share the reading from Philippians 4, from The Message.
“1 My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
2 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn't want his children holding grudges.
3 And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you're right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me, and with the other veterans - worked as hard as any of us. Remember, their names are also in the book of life.
4 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
5 Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
7 Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
I have highlighted a couple verses for your focus today. Verse 4 is an important one to remember. We need to celebrate God all the time. “Praise God who reigns on high, the Lord whom we adore, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God forevermore. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.” From the hymn Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart.
Verse 6 hits home for many of us. Right now, there are many worried people. We are worried over flu season and what that will mean for COVID-19. There are worries over events in our country especially around militant groups, white supremacy, racism and injustice. There are worries around the election day and the results of the national election and the weeks following. There are worries around the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in our county – what is that going to mean for the future. There are worries about daily living. Have you tried shaping your worries into prayers?
Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – help us focus on celebrating you all day, every day. Help us focus on your love and assurance so that we might turn our frets and worries into prayers. We do confess, that we do worry. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.