“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 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.”  (Philippians 4:4-7)  These wonderful and comforting words from the Apostle take on a special meaning during this season of Advent.  As we all know, this time of year can become rather hectic and the temptation is for even greater worrying: will the Christmas dinner be nice?  Will they like the gift?  Will I like my gifts?  Well, you get the point.  But there is this wonderful promise that in spite of all the hustle and bustle we can have peace; and not just any peace.  We may be given God’s peace that guards us like a strong garrison.  That is, it is not my job or my capacity to give myself the peace that I truly need.  That is done by the Lord “who is near.”  The promise of nearness to which Paul is probably referring is the second Advent: the return of Jesus Christ. So once again, we are called to remember: we live between the Advents.  As he came once, he shall come again.  And because of that, we may live lives of rejoicing and gentleness with a peace which the world cannot take because it could never give.  So the question that I must ask myself is this: am I treating people in such a way that they too may know the Lord’s nearness?  Is my life a testimony to the joy and peace with the Lord Jesus so richly offers?  How about you?