I feel as if I have missed so much of advent. I love the readings, the candles, the feeling of the season. Usually I feel such a sense of anticipation but this year that is absent. I almost dread Christmas. I am not ready. For me it is about giving and this year I have so little to give. Advent gears me up and instills a sense of awe.That awe is not present.
Seek that awe.It is what gets us ready for the birth of Jesus. It helps us to experience Christmas with all the joy it demands.
Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere….in the closing of a door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals. Mother Teresa in No Greater Love
My husband says he likes to hunt but I don’t remember him ever killing anything. He just likes to sit in the silence in the woods and observe God’s beautry around him. He communes with creation. Most of us just walk by a beauriful flower or miss the glorious sunset. We don’t know how to silence our hearts and see God’s beautiful world.
Prayer: Give us, Lord, the ability to find that silence of the heart. In its center let us learn about the needs of your world and act on those needs. AMEN
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the HolySpirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
We don’t talk very often about the Holy Spirit but it’s tasks are very important. It dwells within us and quides us every day. The Hebrew scriptures attribute 6 characteristics to the spirit.
In the Hebrew Masoretic text the “Spirit of the Lord” is described with six characteristics (wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord), and then the last characteristic (fear of the Lord) is mentioned a second time. (yes Wikipedia but accurate)
We carry the Holy Spirit with us all the time. It is there to guide our ways and hold us when times are hard. It is an advocate…one who speaks for us and with us. It is a gift from God.
This time out of time has really been a test. We have all learned things. Some we never wanted to know and some that moved us forward on our journey with God. God didn’t bring this virus but we have all moved through it in whatever way we could. It has been harder for some than others. Loved ones have been lost. Many are grieving. But through it all God has been present. His loving arms have reached out to us. His peace has been offered. All we had to do was to cling on to him.
As this state of the crisis moves on we will experience new things both good and bad. God wants us to have learned from this. Our life is his. His love holds us always.
I have discovered how to make a playlist for my Alexa and have had fun collecting some of my favorite hymns. Yesterday I was thinking about how we can be so intolerant of others. It is so easy to think the worst of those we don’t know. This hymn calls us to see everyone the same.
For changing people’s manners and altering their customs there is nothing better than music. Shu Ching, 6th Century B.C.
Music moves me more than anything. I can be completely lost in a hymn and have tears rolling down my cheeks. I feel the melody pulling me into communion with god. God is present with me. I can feel his spirit moving in my soul. Tonight I offer another hymn that has been around but when sung brings the holy spirit into my soul.
In my years working for the Lutheran Church I was so uplifted by the music. Someone who knows how much music means to me reminded me of this hymn. It is giving me focus and hope. I hope it can do the same for you. There are some versions I prefer but this one has the words.
I had to admit my husband to the hospital today. NOT Covid 19. Something that is causing altered mental status. So far no diagnosis. Pray that they can find the problem and get him home before he is exposed to the virus.
Life together is the best … except when it’s not. Life together will reveal our “control issues,” and expose us at our best and at our worst, and a lot of mediocre in between. Struggles are signs of invitation as we live out our lifelong conversion to Christ. Look on the people to whom you belong and remind yourself: “I need you.” And that will make all the difference.
– Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
This was written back in January. It seems as if it was written for us right now. We are certainly finding out about ourselves in a way we never imagined. We see clearly those we need and even more clearly the Christ that is there for us. This is a time to draw nearer, seek him more often and listen for his voice. It will be there.
Last night before going to sleep I listened to this music which is also a prayer…for ourselves to find peace. It strengthens me when I am anxious and remind me that I don’t have to rely on my own strength. I hope that this hymn can give you hope.
I am posting a video with words and then my favorite which is in Spanish.