So then, my friends, how dear you are to me and how I miss you! How happy you make me, and how proud I am of you!—this, dear friends, is how you should stand firm in your life in the Lord.
Euodia and Syntyche, please, I beg you, try to agree as sisters in the Lord. And you too, my faithful partner, I want you to help these women; for they have worked hard with me to spread the gospel, together with Clement and all my other fellow workers, whose names are in God’s book of the living.
May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!
Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.
A “Don’t worry. Be Happy” interpretation of this passage completely misses its significant message. Paul is not calling us, as God’s people, to be dismissive at all! Rather, together, purposely leave with God the very human perspective of anxieties, suspicions and apprehensions, and instead, take on the Way of Christ and together, live well, safe in union with Jesus.
Paul encourages two female leaders, Euodia and Syntyche, to find a way forward together as sisters in the Lord with the help of the community. They have all worked with Paul in spreading the Gospel. Being together in the Way of Christ is the fruitful expression of God’s family, lived out each day, in all circumstances. As churches together, we learn so much more of God’s Way, and support each other as we journey onwards.
Our union in God brings joyfulness in shared community, with receptivity to learning what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable. Together, we meet daily life concerns, faith crises, injustices, societal issues, and personal anxieties, with God’s gift of healthy perspective, less clouded by humanity’s unhealthy being, thinking and expression. God will hold our anxieties, irritations with each other, festering worries and directionless actions, enabling our ministry and mission to flourish, where intention matches our honourable living and being, as God’s people.
Together, let us put into practice what we have learned about God’s Way of Living through Jesus, with the spiritual gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. For it is here, together, where we fully experience God’s peace.
Prayer for the Community of Christ
God of togetherness,
who holds us and loves us,
and offers us belonging beyond our imagination.
Help us be your people, living in the Way of Christ,
in all that we do and in all that we are.
May we regularly lay before you
our concerns that block our vision
and our fears that fracture our relationships.
May we be open to what matters most,
and so, dissipate the worries about things that may not even happen.
Grow in us the ability to be whom you call us to be,
So that we reflect your gracious love through
Listening ears, seeing eyes, wise words and acts of welcoming kindliness.
May this shine in our churches as we draw together,
and throughout the wider community in which we minister.
May our togetherness enrich our faith journey,
Enable us to live as honourable people,
journeying in solidarity, justice, hospitality and welcome,
so our living is joyous and enlivened.
May your graciousness be revealed with all whom we meet.
For we are your people, God of togetherness.
World Mental Health Day – Mental Health for all: Greater Investment – Greater Access
Prayer of Intercession
Spirit of gentleness, who hears into all hearts, souls and minds,
Blow your warming calm in the desert wanderings of mental health.
Through the cold corridors of mental illness,
Glow sunrays that illuminate the dark corners
And unveil the ways towards welcoming spaces.
Quell the clanging, harsh noise
That keeps the voice of good health and wellbeing submerged.
Let the sweetness of good choices
Nourish the palate of healthy words to offer the taste of wholesome expression,
so words express what is needed.
May the ears of those who hear, interpret and understand,
responding with warmth and kindness.
Let the Emmaus stranger walk in solidarity with those who feel alone.
Hold close those who struggle to move forward each day,
and enable them to find firm footing so they gain stability for the walk ahead.
Spirit of healing and compassion,
Open the eyes and ears of the Government and community sector
so that the support is ever increasing and readily available.
For the need is great, and the resources too poor
to offer enough care where it is most needed.
Let us not be afraid to reach out as a community
and raise awareness and practical care to enable health and wellbeing for all.
Spirit of gentleness, hear our prayer.