Pause

In the stillness, in the silence, hope in God.

What do your eyes wait to see?
What does your heart ache to hold?
Where do your feet yearn to walk?

In the stillness, in the silence, hope in God.

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Listen

“But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the heavenly angels and not the Son. Only the Father knows. As it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Human One. In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. They didn’t know what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. The coming of the Human One will be like that."

Matthew 24:36-39

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Think

“Busy” has replaced “fine” as the common response to the question: “How are you?” Our jam-packed schedules keep us constantly moving. If we successfully accomplish every task and complete every activity, life will be good. Nonstop doing feeds the illusion that we’re in control.

Jesus’ words shatter the myths about time that give us a sense of power and security. Even he doesn’t know when he will return to fully establish God’s reign of justice, love, and wholeness here on earth. Our schedules and timelines cannot confine or define the work of God. Knowing this isn’t necessarily comforting; it might even create some serious anxiety. Jesus’ words seem to encourage the exact opposite of hope.

I wonder if Jesus reminds us here that claiming hope isn’t easy. Trusting in God’s timing invites us to the hard work of surrendering control. Hope emerges, not when we’ve got life all figured out, but as we keep going when life doesn’t make sense. And thankfully, we walk this road with other disciples seeking to claim the same hope.

Jennie Barber

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Pray

God of the unexpected, it’s hard to release the schedule I grip so tightly. It’s hard to trust when control gives me comfort. So I begin the hard work.

I pause.

I breathe in and out.

I open myself to your good and beautiful work in my life.

Amen.

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Go

Watch with hope.

See today with God’s vision: catch glimmers of goodness and beauty.

Embrace today with Christ’s compassion: let others know they are deeply loved.

Walk today with the Spirit’s boldness: sing, create, serve, and play.

Jennie Barber

Jennie Barber is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) who has spent almost two decades serving youth and their families. She recently moved back to her home state of Washington where she, her husband, and their three children have endless adventures exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Nathan Hanson

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