Joy in Christ (2 December 2018)

Morning Encounter:

Read: 

Every time I think of you, I thank my God. And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy. This is because you have taken part with me in spreading the good news from the first day you heard about it. God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

You have a special place in my heart. So it is only natural for me to feel the way I do. All of you have helped in the work that God has given me, as I defend the good news and tell about it here in jail. God himself knows how much I want to see you. He knows that I care for you in the same way that Christ Jesus does.

I pray that your love will keep on growing and that you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then you will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day, Jesus Christ will keep you busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God.

(Philippians 1.3-10)

Reflect: 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is full of joy and yet he has every reason to be tired, bitter and depressed as he is imprisoned. Paul’s spiritual maturity is reflected in his passion and love for Christ and his ability to find joy even in difficult circumstances. This is the fruit of a life formed in Christ.

Respond: 

Even if circumstances are difficult today, try to find ways to celebrate and be joyful. Consider this quote:

‘Celebration heartily done make our deprivations and sorrows seem small, and find in it great strength to do the will of our God because his goodness becomes so real to us.’ (Dallas Willard The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Midday Meditation:

‘To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him.’

(Frederick Beuchner)

Evening Reflection:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us.

(St.Patrick)

 

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