Bringing the Text to Life

The Apostolic Formula for Peace of Mind and Heart Philippians 4:4-7

Jesus Christ enables us to be anxious in nothing, prayerful in everything, thankful in anything.

H.G. Wells insisted that "No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft." At the risk of succumbing to that passion, may we suggest that the NRSV translation of Philippians 4:6, which is dignified and scholarly and literally correct, could benefit from an old-fashioned second draft.

For getting Paul's point across with both power and poetry, the best, if not the most linguistically literal translation of this text has to be : "Anxious in nothing, prayerful in everything, thankful in anything .... Then the peace." Only when a Christian has achieved a state of faith that allows those three attitudes to guide his or her life does the "peace of God" settle quietly over the mind and heart.

We all know that tomorrow starts the long-awaited 12-day countdown to the Big Day. But Christmas is such a wonderful and wondrous time of year, we really don't want these next 12 days to go speeding by, do we?

There are some of us that are particularly concerned about ...

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