Philippians 4:4-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Rejoice[a] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[b] 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,[c] 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[d] 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.

Thoughts on Today’s Reading—From Pastor Pam

 In this final sermon of a three-week series about joy, we’re considering some daily practices around cultivating joy in ourselves and on behalf of others.

Joy’s roots are relational. Jesus spoke about this in his ministry through action and teaching. He was a man of connection with others, of caring for others and of compassion. Instead of being “self-involved” he was profoundly concerned about others. One might say he was “other-involved.”

The Apostle Paul speaks to our relationships in his letter to the Philippian Church. It reflects Paul’s  heartfelt intention of rejoicing in connection with Jesus and in his connecting ways that are gentle and grateful and good. Our hearts and minds are to align with the sacred as it invites us to holy lives of compassionate intention. This is the path to rejoicing and peace.

Sunday we will explore eight practices of cultivating joyful roots in our lives provided in The Book of Joy offered by a Christian pastor and a Buddhist monk.

We will consider how perspective, humility, humor, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity are at the heart of our Christian lives of relationship and community.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Pam