December 16

Read Philippians 4:4-7.

During the holidays, it is easy to get overwhelmed with buying presents, family drama, and traveling. This chaos isn’t much different that what Mary was experiencing leading up to Jesus’ birth. She was processing the news that she was carrying the son of Man, dealing with Joseph questioning their engagement, and dealing with the stress of having nowhere to deliver Jesus. She ended up in a manger, surrounded by animals and with little help. In the middle of this turmoil an angel appears, and tells her, “do not be afraid” (Luke 1:26). This served as a moment of trust and understanding for her.

This story can be related to Philippians, where Paul is imprisoned for his faith in God. He writes in his letter to “rejoice in the Lord always” and “do not be anxious.” In fact, he reminds us twice to rejoice, and states that we shouldn’t be anxious in anything, no matter the situation. While sitting in jail, Paul was able to write this. Just like Mary, he was able to trust and rejoice in the Lord. God transcends what is happening in our lives, and we rejoice in him. We challenge you to take time during this season to take a step back, notice where you see God, and rejoice in him.


God, thank you for the assurance of peace when we fully trust in your ways and timing. Help us to notice you and rejoice in you more. Amen.


Student Leaders

Common Ground

(Xavier University)

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