“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (7)
Patrick Maruthumoottil was taken to eternity when he and his three other friends met with a road accident on last Tuesday. The other three friends Justin, Stan and Amy are recovering by the grace of God. When I talked to Patrick’s friends in St. Paul’s Mar Thoma Church in Dallas, I was informed that he was a man of God and led an exemplary disciplined Christian life. He was a model to all his young friends in all walks of life and he was a cheerful giver for the glory of
God. He has been separating his tithe every month to contribute for the church and mission activities. All the four young members were going to participate in a mission activity connected with the native American mission of our diocese and two among them dedicated their lives for the full time ministry of the church. How can we rejoice always when these unexpected and painful things are happening?
Apostle Paul is continuously reminding the church at Philippi to rejoice always. But this is something that human is not able to comprehend. All the unexpected grieving experiences will surely destroy the joy that human have in this world. But Apostle Paul is very clear that amidst of all circumstances a Christian should rejoice always. In verse 7 Paul is giving us the source and means of this joy in a Christian’s life
‘Peace of God’
‘Rejoice always’ is possible only when we have the ‘peace of God’. Christ left this peace with His disciples as His last and best gift and He said “Peace I leave with you”. This peace passes all understanding and this is beyond human comprehension. Only this peace can give the joy amidst all circumstances.
“Shall keep your hearts and minds”
The function of this peace is to keep our hearts and minds in the joy of the Lord. This Peace of God has the mighty effect of protecting our hearts and minds form all fear and anxieties. It protects us from all our doubts about tomorrow. When we have this Peace of God in our lives we will be experiencing the supernatural joy that passes all our earthly grievances and pains.
‘Through Christ Jesus’
Apostle Paul is highlighting the blessed means in which we have this precious gift; the Peace of God. Christ was the medium in which the humanity experienced this peace at first. Christ is the channel through which it flows at present. He brings peace to those who fear and weak, those who doubt and tremble and those who are weary and burdened. He is the prince of peace. Only a Christian who has this peace will see something beyond death and that is eternal life. Even on the face of death and pain, only Christians can rejoice and that is because they have this Peace of God reigning over their lives.
Prayer: God of peace, give us your peace that passes all understanding to keep our minds and hearts from all the things that destroys our heavenly joy, through Christ, Amen
Thought for the Day: Peace of God is the source of re - joy.
Rev. V. M. Mathew, Youth Chaplain, NY