In all circumstances

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always. Certainly, it is easier to rejoice when the news matches our hopes and aspirations.

Give thanks in all circumstances. I am thankful, to God, and especially to my sisters of colour who take the lead in routing out oppression, suppression, discrimination, assault, things with which too many are too familiar.

“Bring good news to the oppressed,” says the prophet, and you brought it. “Bind up the broken-hearted.”*

I give thanks for the tilt in circumstances.

Pray without ceasing. Because the prophet can proclaim and lead and set a fire under her people, but the rest of the people need to pay heed if that tilt in circumstances is to become a revolution worthy of prophesy, and the song of the Mother,* in which the proud are scattered in the imaginations of their hearts and the lowly young girl is lifted up, believed, beloved; in which she flourishes.

Pray without ceasing, that the fire that has been lit beneath the self-righteous will burn away our lies, our complacency, our chaff. I pray for the grace to find, in the ashes of unearned influence, the seeds of humility, mercy, justice; a planting of repentance.

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances.” Amen.


This week’s lectionary includes Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11, the Song of Mary (the Magnificat), and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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