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.
Paul charges us saying,
"Don't worry about anything..."
But people I love
are hurting in hospital beds,
are depressed and lonely,
have marriages falling apart around them,
are dying in mind, body, and spirit.
But the images of western aide workers beheaded
won't leave my mind...
But there are children in my community
who don't get the support at home they need, they deserve...
But families are divided against each other.
Even your church is divided and hurting.
But Paul doesn't mean
Bobby McFerrin's "Don't worry be happy".
No, Lord, Paul's charge not to worry
is rooted in his prayer,
in his confidence that "the Lord is near"
In sharing with you our worries, our fears, our anxieties -- real and imagined.
So here it is Lord:
I am worried.
Worried about my church.
Worried about my family.
Worried about my community.
Worried about my world.
I need your peace;
We need your peace --
peace that surpasses and goes way beyond
anything that I can imagine,
for too often I imagine the worst.
we need your peace
to guard our hearts and our minds.
Guard us, O Prince of Peace,
you who are nearer to us
than our next heartbeat, our next thought.