Summary: Don't worry be happy, the culture tries to ignore life, what things steal our joy....According to Paul nothing should.

A matter of the heart, thanksgiving

Philippians 4:4-7

Taking what we have learned from Paul as we have looked at this letter it is clear that this encouragement is absolutely counter to his situation. From what I read about Paul maybe he is able to do it. From the letter he seems to have it all together.

This advice he has for us reader reminds me of that old song Don’t worry be happy by Bobby McFerrin. (#1- 1988)

Here is a little song I wrote

You might want to sing it note for note

Don't worry be happy

In every life we have some trouble

When you worry you make it double

Don't worry, be happy......

The song goes on to talk about no place to lay your head, Land- lord trouble, no cash, no girl.

This guy missed a really good chance to have a hit country music song. Except that he is just too laid back…he does not stress the sadness of life’s situations…

His song has a catchy simple tune, No steel guitars or any musical instruments. He makes up all the voices and vocal sound. I focuses on one theme…basically whatever your problems …..don’t worry, be happy..

That sounds ridiculous and simple minded. Strangely, he struck a cord in 1988 when that song was #1 on the pop charts; it was song of the year and record of the year.

1988 –

-Columbianian airliner crashes into a mountain killing 143

Iran contra affair - Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

-Former pop singer Sonny Bono is elected mayor of Palm Springs, California.

-Aloha Flight 243 loses several yards of its upper fuselage while in flight, killing 1 person.

-Bus collision near Carrollton, Kentucky: A drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 71, hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group from Radcliff, Kentucky. The resulting fire kills 27

- Iran Air Flight 655 is shot down by a missile launched from the USSVincennes.

- With US$2 billion in federal aid, the Robert M. Bass Group agrees to buy the United States' largest thrift, American Savings and Loan Association.

-Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica; it turns towardsMexico's Yucatán Peninsula 2 days later, causing an estimated $5 billion in damage.

-Thousands riot in Algiers, Algeria against the National Liberation Front government; by October 10 the army has killed and tortured about 500 people in crushing the riots.

-Ronald Reagan decides to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

- Iran-Iraq war ends estimated 1 million dead

- 75 people died in air show accident in Germany

Here we are 20 years later and bad stuff still happens. The events are different… but the fear and loss of 1988 is very similar to the things we are experiencing today.

The thing is, it really does not matter exactly what year we are talking about.

-- I guess I have one question for you to consider this morning… What is stealing your joy today… crisis, loss, stress.

Paul sez, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Basically, don’t worry be happy. Don’t hide your response…Don’t worry…present your request to God.

The letter calls readers to respond to the trouble in our lives by not looking at the actual problems but to watch how God will help us and use us if we respond in a supernatural way.

I only want to point out one element in this short selection this morning.

Rejoice in the lord always different than the interpretation of being thankful for all things. Paul calls people to be thankful in all situations and troubles….NOT for all situations and troubles. That is a very important detail.

So we are not to ignore our pain and offer God some fake sounding Joy. All paul is encouraging is to look past any current hardship and pain and look forward to the Gift provided by God through the actions of Jesus Christ.

Have a supernatural attitude!!!!

That supernatural attitude is what we are reaching for today.

This amazing ability to live un-natural lives is not possible when we try to do things on our own. And we are not expected to.

Every person that tries to live a Christians life is dependent on receiving spiritual nourishment, encouragement that we call means of grace.

This morning we will be sharing in the Eucharist. – A word meaning thanksgiving.

We also call it the Lords Supper, and Holy Communion.

It is an opportunity to reach for a taste of spiritual food.

Gene and I are going to attempt to share in a description of the symbols of the service. As a way or reminding all of us the significance of this thanksgiving meal.


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