Pause

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
[Jesus] comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace –
No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

from “Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord” by David J. Evans (1986)

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Listen

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name.”

Luke 1:46-49

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Think

We had been working so desperately hard to find the needed money to fund the youth ministry program. Presentations, conversations, and pleas provided a nominal amount of heart-felt gifts. And then one day when we were all collectively feeling defeated a check arrived in the mail. The amount was for significantly more than we were asking! The great irony is that this came from a person who had no relationship or interaction with the young people. To top it off, this person gave the appearance that they existed on very meager means.

In my experience the "best blessings" are the ones you never expect to take place. This certainly seems to be the case for Mary. She is clearly overwhelmed with the news that she had been called upon to be the mother of Jesus. To state the obvious, this was something that she never expected in her wildest dreams.

It makes me wonder, as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child, how God’s eternal love might far surpass what we are hoping for.

Brian Prior

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Pray

Loving God, prepare me to expect the unexpected in how you will show up in my life this day. Amen.

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Go

My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For this day, I know I am a beloved child of God.

Brian Prior

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior is the IX Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. Before becoming Bishop, Brian served as the founding Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane, WA and as Executive Director of Camp Cross. Brian is married with two sons and is an avid cyclist, runner, swimmer, and basketball coach with a life-long passion for working with young people.

Advent Waiting: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

David Burroughs

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