Pause

Recognizing the “signs of the times” depends on so many things - eyes that see, ears that hear, a heart open to all that’s holy in our midst.

Largely, reading the signs depends on your connections – the other people in your life, what you read and listen to, what you believe, for heaven’s sake!

So how about hanging out with God? God is never absent, always seeking you (whether or not you are seeking God). Take a moment. Open mind and heart. Listen. Learn to recognize the signs of the holy in all times.

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Listen

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.

Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:4-9

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Think

How perfect that our week should end with a psalm (sacred song or hymn)! Often our prayers take the form of hymns. This particular psalm calls us to imagine all of nature making music together to glorify the Lord.

Whether in church or not, music is one of the many ways we experience that place where we feel connected. Sometimes we feel connected to others who join us in song, sometimes to the universe as during the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. And oh, the joy of actually hearing the wings of birds as they fly overhead, or the sound of a babbling brook, or the whistle of the wind in the pines. These are some of the many ways we know God. The writers of the Psalms celebrated those many ways in song. The Psalms can be a great place to start if you are looking for ways to pray. They remind us to sing God’s praise and to be aware of God's music in our every day.

Barbara Gray

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Pray

As I move toward the season of Advent, help me, Lord, to “hush the noise and cease the strife and hear the angels sing.” Amen.

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Go

Before you go, take another moment. Breathe deeply of the unconditional love, strength, compassion, and courage that God brings.

Then go to be the hands and feet of the Lord in your world — no matter how big or small. Make your life a “sign of the times,” a sign of joy and hope for each new day.

You can’t do it alone. That’s the key. But God is always there to help if you are aware and reach out for God's hand.

You’ll see the signs everywhere.

Barbara Gray

Barbara Wood Gray is a spiritual director based in Tucson, Arizona. She is married with a gaggle of children, their spouses, grandchildren and great grands. Although a “none” at the moment, she has long been attached at the hip to the Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her continuing delight is in her extended family, and in feeding and watching the birds on her patio.

The Calling

Ken Medema

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