Though stores have had Christmas decorations up since the day after Halloween, though the world seems more focused on good sales than good news, though exams and performances and traditions and parties make this one of the busiest times of year, our faith invites us this week to be still and know that God is near.next >
Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:6-8next >
If you have been baptized, try to remember the experience or what you have been told about your baptism. The baptism John offered was the full immersion kind. People who were baptized by John got fully soaked with water, head to toe. Then and now, baptism symbolized cleansing and a complete change of every part of life.
John promised that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. He chose the word baptism deliberately. In Greek, it meant “to dip.” John said that Jesus would dip us in the Holy Spirit – like a chocolate covered strawberry! We are fully immersed in the life of God. If you have been baptized, regardless of how old you were or how much water was used, you have been dipped in the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit surrounds and covers you this and every day like water, filling every part of your life, and flowing from you to all you meet.
Grace Burton-Edwardsnext >
God of peace, give me your peace to let go of the past and cling to your future, to dream your dream for the world, to slow down and see my life from your perspective, to welcome your righteousness, to exercise your patience with myself and those around me, daily to repent and return to you, and live all my life covered by your Spirit. Amen.next >
Open my eyes, Lord, help me to see Your face.
Open my eyes, Lord, help me to see.
Open my ears, Lord, help me to hear Your voice.
Open my ears, Lord, help me to hear.
Open my heart, Lord, help me to love like You.
Open my heart, Lord, help me to love.
John Michael Talbot
Grace Burton-Edwards is settling in to life in Columbus, Georgia, where she moved this year to serve as Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. When she is not unpacking boxes or hanging pictures, she enjoys writing, going to the theater, and staying in touch with her adult sons.
Advent Waiting: Still, Still, Still