Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 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.
We love to understand. Not knowing drives us crazy. And so often it is incredibly easy to access the understanding we seek. Last week I Googled “How does a caucus work?”, “What is a first down?”, and “Countries with the Zika virus?” Now I am an instant expert (well, except on first downs…I still don’t have a decent grasp on that concept).
We are living in a time when knowledge is constantly at our fingertips. We need not be patient and we need not feel uninformed for very long. This, of course, makes it even harder for us to accept the reality that some things cannot be so easily comprehended.
Paul tells the faithful people in Philippi that the God in whom they believe offers a peace that cannot be understood. They are living in stressful times, and this peace is much-needed good news. This peace can be experienced. It can be celebrated. It can even be shared. But it cannot be understood, and by extension, it cannot be controlled.
I have certainly found this to be true in my life. There are days when anxiety and stress seem to simmer within me and those around me, but God does not let the pot boil over. God’s peace is an amazing thing. I wish I could research it and understand it better, but I cannot. I can only experience it, be grateful, and do my best to share it with others. The Peace of the Lord be always with you!
Lord, let your Peace wash over us throughout this season of Lent. Help us to give up trying to understand it, so that we might experience it. Help us give up trying to control it, so we might share it with others. Amen.