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 >
Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me; suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can withstand his appearance?
He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. They will belong to the Lord, presenting a righteous offering.
The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord
as in ancient days and in former years.
Malachi 3:1-4next >
Seeking the Lord can be a tedious business. We wait for guidance, for courage, for inspiration. We lay our cares before God in the temple of our hearts. Yet it can seem like we receive no answer. Or we make ourselves crazy second-guessing every would-be signal.
Then suddenly the Spirit shows up: in the quiet, or in a crowd, or in between us and another. And we know that the Lord is here. Sometimes the message is specific — a hunch or nudge or piece of good advice when we’ve been struggling with a decision. Usually it’s more general, a sense of deep peace or well-being.
“Suddenly” is significant. When God shows up in a big way, it’s usually a surprise. That’s how God breaks through the busyness of our lives.
“Suddenly” can also be our hope. When we’ve had that experience of being visited out of the blue, it can serve as a touchstone for us in the years to come. The day of God’s coming may be just around the corner.
Kyle Olivernext >
O God, surprise me with your loving presence. When I am anxious or confused, remind me of the ways you have visited me with peace and hope. 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