Come, thou long expected Jesus

December 4 

from the Hymn Come, thou long expected Jesus,

 

adventCome, thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us,

Let us find our rest in thee.

 

Sometimes, when things are overwhelming, I just want to rest. I want to sit quietly in a chair, my hands falling over the armrests, my head laid back, my eyes closed and most of all my mind still.

It’s harder and harder to get my mind still. It’s filled with so much stuff !! So many things to think about…. So many worries… money, family, job.. relationships, etc. etc. I can’t rest… I can’t stop thinking.

And yet, if only I would put my worries in your hands… let my mind dwell on you… I just might manage to find that place of calm.

Prayer: God of compassion, lead me to that place of calm. ..the place where you will free my mind from all the things I can’t let go. Help me to sit there with you in perfect peace and let you soothe my cares and give me rest. AMEN

 

What if?

Matthew 22:36-40 [Full Chapter].

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

eyes that see

 

 

If only we could live out these two commandments. How much is it to ask? There are no lists of do’s and don’ts just two simple statements. However, for us flawed humans they are the hardest things to do. If only the whole world could live this way!

Let me sow love

Psalm 85:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]

where-there-is-hatred-let-me-sow-love

With war always looming on the horizon, I wish that the whole world would hear words of peace. We must make God very sad with all the hatred and violence that goes on in the world some of the worst of it in the name of God. Even his faithful people don’t hear his voice. None of us are exempt.

The Hebrew word shalom means fullness having everything you need to be happy and fulfilled. It’s easy to be peaceful when you have everything you need. That’s where the world’s problems are. Not everyone has what they need much less what they want.

Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If I want my neighbor to be happy and fulfilled as much as I want that for myself then things will be good.

Frederick Buechner says “for Jesus peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle but the presence of love.”

Prayer: Lord God of peace, let us grow in love toward you and our neighbor until wars cease and shalom rains. Support us with your Holy Spirit and surround us with your love, now and forever. Amen

NO fear

The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.

fear-is-forgetting

Psalm 23: 4 NRSV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

or from The Message

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.

Put away anger and hatred

Ephesians 4:31-32 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

hate-resentment-energy-love

This world needs this verse from Ephesians. Everyone seems so angry. So much division and hatred. It seems to me to every major religion in its pure form teaches peace, compassion and love. Put away your anger and bitterness and every day show your love for one another.

Feel the Lord’s presence

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
the lords arms
No matter what harm befalls us our God is always near. Picture arms wrapped around you and tears being wiped from your face. Know that you are loved. Feel the presence of the Lord. In his arms there is peace and comfort.

I will not be afraid!

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

    a very present[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

fear not 3

God is present. He is always with us. We can take refuge in Him. We have nothing to fear no matter what happens. Don’t be afraid but depend on God.

A Quiet Day

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2

A quiet day. Jesus is in the tomb. It is all over. His body was taken down and wrapped for burial. On this day he is gone. Take time on Holy Saturday to pause and think about what sort of day it was for the disciples.

Prayer: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Taize

 

Night Prayer

Tonight I want to share the prayer I shared on my other blog https://worrylessjourney.com/2018/12/09/what-has-been-done-has-been-done/

It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.

night sky 2

Lord,
it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
Amen.