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

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let’s go to the Lord’s house!” Now our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem!

Jerusalem is built like a city joined together in unity. That is where the tribes go up— the Lord’s tribes! It is the law for Israel to give thanks there to the Lord’s name, because the thrones of justice are there— the thrones of the house of David!

Psalm 122:1-5

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Think

It’s that time of year. The time when our constant motion kicks into supersonic speed. In pursuit of holiday cheer, we run to malls, light displays, Christmas tree lots, and houses of friends or family. We’re usually so busy we don’t think about how we feel as we go. Are we excited? Tired? Happy? Anxious that our great-aunt Myrtle will try to kiss us again?

The invitation to go to Jerusalem inspires joy in the psalmist. It’s not a journey of obligation; it’s a pilgrimage of gladness. People gather to worship and remember who they are. Together, they encounter the God of justice and renewal.

In this busy season, how do you feel about going to worship with your community of faith? Is it one more obligation? Or does your heart leap for joy? Church isn’t full of holiday glitz, but it is bursting with expectation. It’s a gathering of people who open their hearts in hope to the God who offers new life. It might just be the one place we need to run to.

Jennie Barber

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Pray

Inviting God, I run to so many places. I run because I feel like I have to, or I need a distraction, or I don’t even know why.

When I’m invited to your house, stir a deep joy in me that leads me to gather with others who hope in you. 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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