The greatest gift in our life of faith is that God lives in each of us. Quiet prayer is a chance to reconnect with our best self and the God who made us.
As you enter into prayer, know that the peace of God is available to all who seek it. In fact, it is already in your heart. Try to claim it now.
And remember that tomorrow is another day.next >
"You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79next >
Have you ever been up all night? Perhaps you were working on a project or paper. Perhaps an illness or nerves kept you awake, or the crisis of a loved one. Perhaps preference or necessity sent you traveling through the midnight hours.
Whatever the circumstance, you might have witnessed what feels like a minor miracle.
Unless you’re an expert at tracking moon or planet movements, the night is pretty homogenous. Once it’s dark, it’s dark. It stays that way until the night is spent.
And then with very little warning, we awake to the possibility that the night is not eternal. Color and definition return to our senses and surroundings. The whole creation is made anew.
Whenever I hear these words from Zechariah, foretelling his son’s role as herald to Jesus of Nazareth, I think of my life’s endless nights, mercifully few. And I think of what it must have been like to experience the coming of Emmanuel.
Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us.
Kyle Olivernext >
Christ my savior, renew your Spirit in me each day. And help me remember that when you came into the world, you changed everything. Amen.next >
Spirit of Peace, you dwell in my heart.
Spirit of Love, you make me whole.
Spirit of Joy, you teach me to serve.
Kyle Matthew Oliver (@kmoliver) is an Episcopal priest who believes in the power of digital media to help people engage their faith. He serves as digital missioner for the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary and lives with his wife in New York City. He enjoys doing yoga, making things, and listening to podcasts.
Advent Reflections: O Come, O Come Emmanuel