Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; give thanks!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.

As simple as these words are to say or write, the living out of them is quite more tricky.  Rejoice always?  Pray without ceasing? Give thanks in ALL circumstances?  Can we do this?  It seems quite impossible to me.  The rocky parts of life happen to all of us, and it is quite difficult to keep rejoicing, to keep praying, and to keep giving thanks in these times.  However, our Hope is not dependent upon the state of the world, but rather the knowledge that God's love does endure, in all circumstances.  What looks impossible it not impossible for God.

This season of Advent reminds us that in the midst of an occupied land, an unwed girl gave birth to God Incarnate.  In the midst of the night, angels sang to rough-talking shepherds out in the hills.  In the midst of the wilderness a voice cried out "prepare ye the way of the Lord."  From the strange and foreign East came wise men who followed a star which moved to the place where God laid among animals because there was no room in the inn.  Impossible.  Impossible.

God loves us, and cares for us, and what looks impossible to us, is possible for God.  God loves us and cares for us, and became one of us so that he may dwell in us and we in him.  Impossible.

God give us the "peace which passeth understanding," thanks be to God that God's reality is greater than my understanding and imagination.


God of great abundance, help me to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances, for what seems impossible to me, is reality for you; for this, I give abundant thanks.  Amen.

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