Following the Path to Christmas…. Let’s walk with one another and We will walk with God. Join V. Hare for an easy way to learn this vibrant, joyful tune from Eswatini (Swaziland):
Reflect Due to heightened uncertainty and the constant shifting of guidelines, mandates, and practices; because of the rising level of anxiety in many areas of our lives, we can follow a different path to Christmas. This year we seek a path for reflection, for quiet, for listening, for breathing. Now is the time to take the first step, to get started on this path which will wind its way to the hillside outside of Bethlehem, down to the humble feeding trough which held the Son of God, and into our hearts, enabling us to receive anew the Light of the World.
Stop first and quiet your mind. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Hold it for a moment. Then let that breath out very slowly. Now….
Lord of light, we stand at the beginning of Advent, facing an uncertain season ahead. Do we try to prepare for a Christmas as we have in the past? Do we create alternative activities and traditions? We could follow any number of paths in front of us. Some paths lead to feeling frazzled or overwhelmed. Some paths lead to depression or melancholy. Lord of light, guide our feet to take your path, to walk the good way. As we walk your path in this Advent season, give us rest for our souls. Help us to set aside time to breathe, to notice your handiwork, to appreciate the little things. Lead us on your path to Christmas. Amen.
Light Light one candle, saying: “We are following the path to Christmas
As you walk through this week, carry these words with you from the prophet Jeremiah: “Stand at the crossroads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
Feeling frazzled? Feeling down? Time for an affirmation break! Join Eva for a three minute experience: https://youtu.be/wKB2GSSXTSc
We can learn from our Buddhist brothers and sisters. Try a quiet breathing, meditative exercise with Thich Nhat Hanh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MGgK8eulKo
TAKE TIME TO PONDER— by Janice Sabb
As I made the decision to accept this assignment for the Advent season, I began to reflect on the significance of prayer and meditation. What is the difference between the two expressions? In my mind, I see prayer as talking to God, just like having a conversation with someone very dear to you who never judges you and accepts you just as you are. In my heart, I feel meditation gives you a direct pathway to hear God speak, so that you can listen to God. It is akin to having a personal audience with Mother/Father God speaking directly to you in your quiet time. The biblical definition for meditation is to mutter, to speak or to ponder. Let us examine the word ponder as we consider Jeremiah 6:16 during this season of Advent. We are given several directives:
1. To stand at the crossroads and look
2. To ask for the ancient paths
3. To ask what the good way is and walk in it
The prophet Jeremiah ends by letting us know that once we have finished these instructions, we will find rest for our souls. Jeremiah concludes this passage by saying…
But you said you will not walk in it!
In this time of Advent, we are preparing for the coming of the Christ. I encourage and invite you to take time to ponder, that is, to think carefully about how you prepare for Christ’s coming and what the time of Advent represents in your daily life. Give yourself a time out to silence your mind and ponder the words of the prophet Jeremiah as he directs us to stand and look at (examine) whatever crossroads we find in our lives. Use this opportunity to look within as you tap into your spiritual center in this quiet time of meditation. As we allow ourselves to release the clutter and noise of the world, it is here, in this place that we can fully access and listen to the still small voice of God speaking to us. It is inside our spiritual center in the silence where we find the ancient path and where we can embrace the good way. It is through meditation and hearing the voice of God speaking to us that we develop the courage to walk in “The Good Way”.
Just as the prophet Jeremiah promises, the key to finding rest for your soul is letting go of the clutter and noise of the world and welcoming in the voice of God. When we take time to connect and be with God in our moments of quiet meditation, he speaks to us in a clear, audible voice. It is then that we began to comprehend the true significance of rest for our souls.
I challenge you today: Are you willing to ponder and think carefully? Are you ready and willing to renew your spirit and your commitment to God through prayer and meditation? In this Advent season, you do not have to plan a vacation or even a staycation, pack a suitcase, spend extra money that you do not have, board a plane, get on a cruise ship, take time off from work, or even ask Siri.
Make the decision to seek rest for your soul by spending quiet time alone with GOD, just you and the Holy Spirit; up close and personal, One-on-One.