Monday, December 9th
This reading offers us a powerful resource – it re-orients us towards “a more excellent way” and gives us a Christmas message to embody. The Apostle Paul writes to his ever-so-close friends in Philippi some compelling words: “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Does gentleness have enough capacity to actually influence and impact in a healthy way those who seem so full of restlessness or resentfulness? In a culture of over-reactivity perhaps the presence of gentleness or “fair-mindedness” can bear witness to a healthier path. Gentleness provides us a different way to react toward the rigid demands of others or the rigidity of their beliefs, whether secular or sacred. There is power in becoming gentle. For it is in gentleness that the powerful are exposed as powerless. That is why gentleness is so effective. Whether it is today, in the Apostle Paul’s age or in Jesus’ time, those with the power - perceived, real or even permitted - become vulnerable when gentleness challenges its certainty. The Christmas message to share lies not in rants against but rather in the ways we resemble Christ along the way. A Christ-like path is a way of gentleness and patience, the way of kindness and compassion, the way of acceptance and inclusion.
Holy God, in the midst of the chaos I face day in and day out surround me with a deeper understanding of your nearness to me. For you are so close. Help me not to worry so much and to be filled with your peace. Let my gentleness be known. Amen.