Daily Advent Devotional: Day 21 – Sat, Dec 19

Joy may be encouraged and reinforced by your choice of environments. Opt to connect with nature. Or to change perspectives by going somewhere other than your usual setting.
            How you set the stage for where you work and play permits you to access joy. Being in places that minimize interruptions and offer immediate inspiration may support your reach for the joy within. Often joy in our sacred texts is described in connection with hills and rivers, gardens and vineyards and fields. Or in sacred places such as human-made sanctuaries or holy mountaintops. Be intentional about your choice of environment, even in small ways: pay attention to the lighting, orderliness, or perhaps the view. — Rev Gail

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones. — Isaiah 49:13

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. — Isaiah 55:12

To lust for joy is to lust for the God of life. To make joy where at first it seems there is none is to become co-creator with the God of life. When we make joy, we make a holier, happier life. — Joan Chittister

For Equilibrium, a Blessing — John O’Donohue

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore, 
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul. 

As the wind loves to call things to dance, 
May your gravity by lightened by grace. 

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth, 
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect. 

As water takes whatever shape it is in, 
So free may you be about who you become. 

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said, 
May your sense of irony bring perspective. 

As time remains free of all that it frames, 
May your mind stay clear of all it names. 

May your prayer of listening deepen enough 
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.


Sunday, November 8: Gratitude Reflection

Give thanks for mountains. We are often called to ‘high places.’

            In some cultures, we discuss ‘thin places’ that are close to heaven. In the Celtic tradition, heaven is only six feet away in memorable geographic locations such as certain islands or mountains, which hold sacred significance in multiple faith traditions.

            Walk out your door. Hike or drive toward a peak. Go uphill. Grow short of breath or pause and catch a second wind. Continue. Get closer to the heavens. Stand on the peak. Look out across the vista.

            The natural world offers its own cathedrals. In our region, mountains become one of those places that are holy to people in many cultures. Give thanks for the presence of such heights — physical and spiritual— in our landscape. — Rev Gail

You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession, the place, O Lord, that you made your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.
Exodus 15:17

The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.
— Michael Josephson

How to climb a mountain. Carina Devera

  1. Don’t forget to pack your courage.
  2. Do not presume a mountain can be climbed all at once; one step at a time is all you will be granted.
  3. Faced with such permanence, take comfort in all that is fleeting, and dare not disturb the rocks.

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
    and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
— Isaiah 49:13

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