Pause

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.

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Listen

God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and won’t be afraid. Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield; he has become my salvation.”

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation. And you will say on that day: “Thank the Lord; call on God’s name; proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples; declare that God’s name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things; proclaim this throughout all the earth.” Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion, because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

Isaiah 12:2-6

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Think

I’m very careful when I throw around the word trust. We so often abuse or distort this idea.

It infuriates us to be told to trust in the ultimate purpose of a tragedy we know deep down is random and meaningless. We feel guilty or ashamed when the pain or weight of some burden makes the notion of trust impossible for the time being.

People usually mean well when they tell us to “trust God,” to “have faith,” to “let go.” But when we’re not ready to hear it, this advice feels like a betrayal or at least a serious failure of empathy.

In my experience, we know when we’re ready for trust. We’ve healed a bit, or lowered our defenses, or simply concluded that there is no other way we’ll make it through.

Those are the moments when we encounter the God of our salvation, the holy one of Israel who is great among us. Those are the moments when we learn that trust is everything. And that God is worthy of it.

Kyle Oliver

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Pray

Holy Spirit, come to me when I am able to reach out my heart to you. When I’m ready, teach me to trust in your power to heal and to redeem. Amen.

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Go

Spirit of Peace, you dwell in my heart.

Spirit of Love, you make me whole.

Spirit of Joy, you teach me to serve.

Kyle Oliver

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

Joseph Martin

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