2021 Advent Devotions

Philippians 4:4-7 | December 15, 2021

Rejoice in the Lord Always
by Bette Schwall

We continue our Advent journey focusing on four verses from the book of Philippians. These are words Paul wrote to his Christian friends. Paul, himself, was in prison at this time. However, he was writing words of encouragement to his friends. We, too, can take encouragement from these words. They tell us to be joyous. They are telling us not to worry. They are telling us to be gentle with others. These verses promise peace in our hearts.

Sometimes it is not easy to be joyous. Sometimes the cares of life seem overwhelming. Elisha Huffman, who lived from 1839 until well into the 1900’s obviously found help and wrote these words for a hymn:

“I must tell Jesus all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone.
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for his own.”

The Lord is near Paul tells us. When we pray, give thanks and act with gentle kindness. A peace that passes understanding can be ours.

When my husband, Frank, graduated from the University of Richmond in 1958, his paternal grandmother gave him a gift. It was a book: Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church. In that book there is a hymn by Rev. Philip Doddridge that I feel speaks directly to our verses for today.

The following are some of the verses from that hymn:

“Hark, the glad sound!
the Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long;
let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.

He comes, the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure;
and with the riches of His grace,
to bless the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
thy welcome, shall proclaim;
and heaven’s eternal arches ring
with thy beloved name.”

Prayer: Please be with the people in our world who find it difficult to rejoice. Please help each of them, and ourselves, to experience the promised peace that passes all understanding through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.