from the Hymn Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Come, 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
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.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
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!
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.
Psalm 23: 4 NRSV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
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
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.
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.
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.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
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.
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
Peace may not be that place of calm that we expect. It may be managing in the midst of the storm. God’s peace can allow us to cope when we don’t think we can. Remember he was the one who calmed the water for his disciples. It may not be the water he calms for us but our minds and hearts.
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.
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,
In your name we pray.