Pause

Breathe deeply.

This is the time for you to stop and notice the light on the window, scents in the dry winter air, and the subtle sounds that are the background of your day. Take a moment to notice the beating of your heart and the gentle brush of cloth against your skin.

These moments are a gift that Christ has given you and that you can give back to Christ, the gift of presence and companionship.

Breathe and pause and listen.

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Listen

The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world.

The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize the light.

The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him.

But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God.

John 1:9-13

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Think

There’s an app for that! I was recently shown an app that identifies all the stars, planets, and satellites when you point it at the sky—even in the daytime. Just looking at the night sky, it’s not easy to pick out which is which. Alone, I can’t tell a star from a satellite. I need help for that. I need someone to teach me the identifying markers of each.

While some marks of God’s presence are obvious, others are hard to spot. We can walk right past them unless someone helps us to identify them. They may be marks of kindness, or justice, or forgiveness, hidden in our daily lives.

The work of God’s spirit hovers over us, creating the small miracles that nudge us to share the extra pencil, or to not pick on someone, or to renew a friendship. Scripture, our community of faith, and those who have walked this path before us can help us identity the Holy Spirit’s presence among us. Recognize the Light.

Linnae Peterson

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Pray

Holy Spirit, when you nudge me to do things, help me to recognize your presence. Show me the pattern of your presence in those around me and help me to choose the path that you invite me to take. Amen.

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Go

The wise men followed the star. They walked in the light of God’s presence and found Jesus at the end.

Go walk in the light of Christ, knowing that God is with you, and there you will find Jesus.

Go discover the light of Christ that shimmers around you.

Go celebrate the light of Christ with you and within you today.

Linnae Peterson

Linnae Himsl Peterson received an MDiv from the School of Theology at the University of the South in 1995. She is passionate about creating opportunities for Christian Formation for all people and supporting Formation programs in smaller churches as the coordinator of the Episcopal Christian Formation Network in New Hampshire.  Small town life suits Linnae perfectly and allows her to indulge her enthusiasms for crafting of all kinds and still spend time with her husband and teenager.

Advent Reflections: O Come, All Ye Faithful

Joseph Martin

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