4 elements that can bring lasting, settled peace during the Christmas Season…

My Advent reading today (Under African Skies — Reflections for Advent and Christmas by Carolyn Butler) made me so aware of the fact that in the time of the year when I most want to experience the presence of God that I am most mindful of my inability to do so.

Isaiah 30:15-16

New International Version (NIV)
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
    Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!

When God calls me to repentance and rest, to quietness and trust, it is so easy for me to hop on my swift horse, ride madly away from being fully present (the very thing I so want to be) and join the other swift horses of worry, despair, fear and discontent.

I am looking at the 4 Advent Candles on my dining room table.  I will think of them in the week as symbols of …

Repentance …
                       Rest …
                                   Quietness …
                                                       Trust …


In this holy place I will pray Psalm 131 …

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

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