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Journey to Bethlehem, Our Christmas Devotional Day 19 Philippians 4:4-9

Thursday, December 20

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Christmas day nears, a sure reason to rejoice in the Lord! And regarding gift-giving, there is always a shortage of reasonableness in human relationships. When was the last time you encountered a reasonable person in your life? And when was the last time you extended reasonableness to someone else?

As for me, I often neglect to remember the Lord really is at hand. And when I do recollect, I have no perception of anxiety as either present or absent; it simply does not come to mind.

St. Paul is reminding us of a Christmas gift that has already been given. That is, if you too are a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the risen Lord himself, will wash us with his eternal peace if we will allow it. You too will rejoice in that cleanness, and you too will readily share the reasonableness you gain from his peace with anyone in need of it. That includes almost everyone you meet in the world.

And, if they reject it, which they so often do, his peace will return to you—if you remember.

Christmas, it is said, comes only once a year. It is mildly comforting to see that the world seems slightly less vexed during this annual celebration. But you, dear reader, if you are following the Christ, you have a full storehouse of good things to think about throughout your years whenever you choose to remember who you are, and Who is at hand. You have access to a continuous Christmas celebration if you remember that Jesus did not come into the world to make it a better place, but to save you, and me, and everyone else who journeys with us to Bethlehem.

HARK! the Herald Angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
God and Sinners reconcil'd.