Advent Day 5: Daily Devotional

Hope fosters comfort with stillness and silence, as aspects of not-knowing. In these times, we’re enduring personal pressures and communal, national and global stresses.

Hope supports resilience in a culture that offers round-the-clock data feeds. We give ourselves permission to unplug and turn down the noise. We need this capacity in any era, but certainly in these times, when our culture promotes 24/7 access to information and each other, with exaggerated extremes of emotion and perspective.

What if we slow it all down? Sometimes the constant stimulation provides a false sense of certainty. It also mimics intimacy.

Hope invites us into a time that can be quiet. It allows us to cope with lack of information. It enables us to wait to find out what comes next. It assures us that we will manage, even when we do not or cannot know the answer.

Hope allows us to stay centered and become comfortable with our own company. We learn to trust ourselves and each other, without external stimulation. We learn to catch our breath, and listen actively to the stillness rather than yearning for noise. And find out that in the stillness, we may come to learn and know more than we expected. — Rev Gail

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10

Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found … Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story. — Neil Gaiman

If you re-channel those energies into being aware of what is going on in the present moment, you will be able to make a breakthrough and discover joy and peace right in the present moment, inside of yourself and all around you.
Thich Nhat Hahn

The spiritual task of life is to feed hope. Hope is not something to be found outside of us. It lies in the spiritual life we cultivate within. — Joan Chittister

Dum spiro, spero: While I breath, I hope. — Latin proverb

Thurs, Nov 26 Gratitude Reflection (Thanksgiving Day)

Notice what is still and calm, without motion or activity. Give thanks for this aspect of your world.

            A lake or pond, for instance, reflects like a mirror when still. It gives back the world to itself. It echoes and returns what is offered to it.

            A boulder or stone ledge has no voice. Such rock scapes show traces of age and reveal the record of geological events via their exposed layers. Yet they remain mute, silent, and seemingly permanent. They are tangible, solid, and ever-present: a source of serenity and assurance.

            What is still in your life? Calm? A place or way that is rooted, or centered, simply by its existence?

            Give thanks for stillness, for calm. Appreciate the opportunity to pause all the motion and remain in one place. — Rev Gail

Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. —Mark 4:39

The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed. — Maya Angelou

Resentment indicates we are still trying to fill the emptiness with something we think we deserve. Gratitude is the sign that God has filled the hole; indeed, that God has become the Whole in Whom we live, move, and have our being. – Steve Harper

Lenten word for today: quiet.

Suggested scripture: Nehemiah 8:10-11. 10 – Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.”

Music for today: In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins. 

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