Holly Hearon | 0 Comments. 1 Peter 5:7). Loneliness, family tensions, inflated expectations, unexpected crises, grief, and national events make them seem just beyond our grasp, except perhaps in the tinsel of holiday films. The truth may be that both understandings are correct. This is the power of Christ. “Do not worry about anything” is brief and in Greek alliterative, mēden merimnate. Philippiens 4:21 Saluez tous les saints en Jésus-Christ. These words were spoken by the prophet Isaiah to the people of Judah and Jerusalem more than twenty seven hundred years ago, when the Assyrian Empire was the dominant power, and Judah lived in the shadow of its might. Yet experience shows us that “joy” and “peace” are often elusive, especially at this time of year. We can hardly appreciate the full instruction to be drawn from these words unless we remember St. Paul's condition when he wrote his epistle to the Philippians. While we are still vulnerable, we are also assured of God’s concern and protection. Yet, if Paul is echoing Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount, he should be familiar with Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:32, “your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Paul may be urging Christians to cast all of our cares upon God (cf. “I am glad and rejoice with all of you — and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me” (2:17-18; see also Romans 12:15). The third Sunday of Advent traditionally has a focus on joy. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Yet, when confronted with poverty, hunger, injustice, and the other troubles of life, it is the natural human tendency to be anxious. It is akin to being merciful. In 4:5, Paul continues the theme of relationship with the command, “let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Here he employs an aorist imperative, which emphasizes a specific, rather than general, kind of conduct.2 In English, “gentleness” is often associated with being “meek and mild.” In Greek, epieikes, is associated with tolerance, “not insisting on every right of letter of law or custom.”3 To embody epieikes means to recognize that we have a choice in how we behave towards others. Paul is not saying that there is nothing to worry about or that the things we worry about are unimportant. It reminds us of Jesus’ statement in Matthew, “Do not worry about your life” (Matthew 6:35). Its use in the Greek language includes “what is fitting,” “magnanimity,” and “reasonableness.” It can also be understood to describe the clemency of a ruler. Isaiah 12 is the culminating hymn of the first section of Isaiah’s prophecy. Commentary on Zephaniah 3:14-20 . It is not just about being nice or kind; it is about the exercise of power. Because God’s imagination is larger than ours. It is a “joy” rooted in an ongoing relationship, built on trust, that is able to negotiate the moments of joylessness in ways that ultimately work for good (see also Romans 8:35-39). To guard is to protect. Today’s epistle passage is an intriguing composition of seven sentences ranging from two to twenty Greek words long. The “gentleness” that Christians have is to be made “known to all sorts of people” (Philippians 4:5). In one way, this adverb points to the future and its possible trials. The sentences have no connecting words except “but” (alla) in 4:6 and “and” (kai) in 4:7. In a world where strict adherence to the letter of the law would lead to injustice, epieikeia knew how to act with fairness. The treatment of Jesus highlights for Paul what this gentleness is all about (see 2 Corinthians 10:1). And so, the idea of living in two communities — the church and the civic community — is intoned with this exhortation to gentleness. Bauer, W. Danker, W.F. In the third short sentence, the term to epieikes (NRSV: “gentleness”) is tricky to translate. There are many things that can be a cause of rejoicing: good news; an unexpected reprieve; achievement of a hard-won goal. Colossiens 3:15 Et que la paix de Christ, à laquelle vous avez été appelés pour former un seul corps, règne dans vos coeurs. A state of perpetual happiness? But why? Regardless of the circumstances that give rise to our anxiety, we are now urged to be anxious “in nothing,” an expression that excludes all exceptions. The third Sunday of Advent traditionally has a focus on joy. In 4:6 three synonyms for prayer are heaped together. Luke depicts John the Baptist’s message as a clarion call to repentance. In other words, as he exhorts them to rejoice, the apostle commands them to let their gentleness to be known to all, and not to be anxious. Philippians 4:4-7 offers a helpful framework for exploring “joy” and “peace” in relation to the life of faith. To “rejoice in the Lord always” points to a “joy” that is not only enduring, but that sustains us even when we are worn down by life challenges. Gospel. Arndt, and F.W. Thus, the gentleness he describes is the response of a person who has suffered injustice and disgrace. It is a peace that pushes the limits of our imaginations, challenging us to constantly reconsider what it is that makes for peace, for whom, and how. It is also a peace that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The key to understanding Paul’s exhortation to rejoice is that it is “in the Lord.” This signifies that the Lord is either the object of our rejoicing or its grounding, the one in whom our joy thrives. Philippians 4:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Philippians 4:7, NIV: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It is a distinguishing mark for Christians (see Romans 12:12) and a characteristic of life in the kingdom of God (14:17). Php 4:4-7. The Lord is near. Politeuesthe (NRSV: “live your life”) denotes life as a citizen. In verse 4, Paul urges the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always.” The use of the present imperative signals that “rejoicing” is a habitual attitude that informs behavior.1 The inclusion of the adverb “always” suggests “regardless of circumstances” (so 2 Corinthians 6:10). The two-fold expression to rejoice echoes what the apostle said in 3:1, “Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.” Rejoicing is a keynote of this letter. Yet it is not a gift to be received passively; to be set on a shelf and admired. The inclusion of the pantote, translated in the NRSV as “always,” can also be rendered “at all times.” The statement calls for an ongoing activity, one not based upon the particular circumstances of the apostle’s readers. Like its English counterpart, eggus can be understood spatially or temporally. The critical phrase, however, is “in the Lord.”. Commentary on Luke 3:7-18. Commentary on Philippians 4:10-19 (Read Philippians 4:10-19) It is a good work to succour and help a good minister in trouble. In doing so, we acknowledge our total dependence upon God. We are invited to make ourselves known to God, and to ourselves, at our points of greatest vulnerability. Further, we are told to do so with thanksgiving. Nor is it an act of divine intervention that suddenly makes all things right (at least, from our perspective). Paul urges his hearers to stop worrying. In Philippians 4:6, Paul counters these fears and anxieties with the command, “do not worry about anything.” The use of the present imperative is a helpful reminder that Paul is urging us to cultivate an attitude grounded in practice: “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”. At this point, it is important to remember that Paul wrote this from prison. Spatially, it means “near” or “close at hand.” If this is true, then “near” here signifies that the Lord is close to or present with the Philippians. Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Critical, here, is relationship: our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but also our relationship in community. An absence of conflict? If the Christian life is to be characterized by joy it is also distinguished by a gentleness that is known to all. Or do “joy” and “peace” represent hopes that have become little more than a seasonal habit? Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus,” Phil. This is especially poignant given Paul’s imprisonment. Thanksgiving, in this way, becomes an expression of our openness to process, because we have confidence that we will be supported and sustained by the One who is faithful. (At 2 Corinthians 6:10 Paul speaks of himself as “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”). It combines ethics and eschatology, although its meaning is not entirely clear because of the ambiguity surrounding how eggus is supposed to be understood. This continuous rejoicing in the Lord is a very important concept for Paul. God’s peace protects us by drawing us deeper into relationship with Christ, the source also of our joy.

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