The first prompt in the next chapter of Writing in the Margins suggests asking friends and family members their favorite scripture and writing a prayer based on it. At our Thanksgiving feast this year, I asked a few of the friends and family gathered for their favorite verses. So I’ll turn my attention to these passages!
I’ve been giggling about this one. My son keeps asking me what’s so funny—I’m not sure he would see the humor so I haven’t tried to explain it to him. But I asked someone in my life for a favorite Bible Verse and the quick response was, “Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I will say rejoice. It’s somewhere in Philippians.” My first thought was, “That’s cheery verse.” And my second thought was, “That was not the answer I expected.” (I would have guessed the 23rd Psalm.)
So I quickly located the verse in Philippians, and what cracks me up is the next verse: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” Just so you can maybe see the humor: I’ve just never been known for being reasonable in my rejoicing! Matter of fact, every time I’ve had a celebratory gathering for friends and family, I am cautioned: “Be reasonable.” But I just do what feels right and easy for me to create a fun and joyful experience for everyone, and “reasonable” is not a word that really resonates with me when I am in the midst of rejoicing! But now I can see better why one might think the two can go hand-in-hand.
I practiced this verse in a few color schemes was surprised to see red and green emerge as my favorite. Honestly, this is a lovely passage to have in mind during Advent:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonable ness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious 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.
In the top margin, I wrote a prayer for Advent based on the passage:
It is time to rejoice the birth of Jesus! Let us do so reasonably, without anxiety, with a spirit of joyful gratitude. Guard our hearts and minds. Give us your peace, which surpasses understanding!