A reading for Wednesday, December 9, 2015: Philippians 4:4-6.

The word rejoice is a Middle English/Old French word, the combination of "ri" expressing intensive force and "jois" meaning joy. It is an intensive feeling of joy to rejoice! The reason for such intensive joy according the lesson from Philippians is the presence of God, "the Lord is near."

This is the season of rejoicing. The Christmas season is the time of the year when we celebrate that God was willing to come down to be present with us. "To move into the neighborhood..." as The Message translates it from John's gospel. The Lord is simply a conversation away, like two friends talking over the back fence, we are able to communicate with our Lord. This is the reason we rejoice. We get to know God in such a profound and intimate way.

Do others know of your joy? Does your life reflect such rejoicing? Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers." William Sloane Coffin said that quote was unfair to undertakers...

Today, not tomorrow, but today... Rejoice! "The Lord is near!"


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