Rejoice in All Situations
Preparing for the Second Sunday of Advent: Two Days Before Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Luke 1:68-79
Old Testament: Malachi 3:13-18
Epistle: Philippians 1:18b-26
God of Love, Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us. He is a sign of your love. Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent, As we wait and prepare for his coming. We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.
In prison, the Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians, “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.” Paul believes that God is faithful and will deliver him as he languishes in chains. No matter what may happen salvation will come.
Of what salvation does Paul speak? Is he completely certain that he will be released from jail? The Apostle clarifies a few verses later.
Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.
Paul has a strong inclination toward the latter possibility that he will indeed be freed to continue his labors, but if not… if he is approaching the end of his life… Paul knows that his death will be deliverance too. Regardless of which salvation Paul will experience—deliverance from his chains or deliverance to be in Christ’s presence—God will be proven to be faithful.
Many years ago, I knew a woman who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. In the midst of her five-year battle, she was an inspiration to all who knew her in how she lived in those days. She told me on several occasions that whether she was healed in this life or went into eternity, she considered it to be a win win situation.
The redemption that Jesus brings is certain. There is no question as to if we will be delivered, but when. In Advent, we prepare ourselves to receive the certainty of God’s presence, confident in knowing that because God acts for our salvation, deliverance will indeed come.
Like St Paul, we can rejoice in all situations.