"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippian 4:6-7
It's a strange time to hear words like, "do not worry about anything." At the moment we seem to be worried about everything. How are we going to pay our bills? Is going to the kids' volleyball game going to kill me? Is my not going to the game going to scar my child for life? Are people going to come back to church when this is all over? Is our nation going to survive our politicians? Are the kids going to learn enough through distance learning? Which parent is going to quit their job to stay home with the kids if things shut down again? Will we ever be able to visit grandma in the nursing home again?
We certainly have enough worries to fill the day. And there is a cottage industry willing to teach us how to manage those worries. Meditation, yoga, exercise, baking bread, binge drinking - the list of options is as long as our lists of worries.
As the people of God we have been given a way of facing the world we live in, the messes we have created for ourselves. We have been invited, commanded even, to lay our worries and fears down in prayer, to make our requests known to God.
The promise is not that he is going to clear the path for us, that all of our worries will disappear. Rather, we can face life with the peace that can only come from our assurance of Christ's mercy for us.
It's easy to lose that peace. It's easy to lose that assurance. The darkness in this world is a continuous assault on our peace, our hope.
God gave us the third commandment knowing this. The third commandment isn't for God's benefit. It isn't because God can't get along without our songs and prayers. It's because WE can't get along without them. We need to be brought into the presence of his Word in order to have our hope, our peace, our faith restored, again and again and again.
Whether that's online or in person, with a large congregation or one or two others, following a set liturgy at 9:00 am on Sunday or doing a Sunday School lesson with your family at 10:30 on Tuesday night, the remembering of the sabbath takes many forms. But there is one constant. God is always present for us in his Word. And in that Word we are given the assurance that the worries of this life are no match for Christ's capacity and willingness to save. That salvation he has for you will outlast every one of those worries.