Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry 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, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
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Yesterday I watched a giant steel claw snatch, crush and dump in a truck the moldy, flood-damaged pulpit that I have filled for the last 10 years. Every metaphor, thought, emotion was depressing. And then it was time to get back to the vocation - though a dramatically changed one - to which I am called. Words fail me a lot these days, so I will lean on my brother Paul's word. These words to the Philippians help us in such a time as this when leaders are fools, fires are burning, people are shooting, and homes are flooding. God is bigger than even all of this.
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Holy God, protect your people and give them the peace they need for the living of these days. Amen.