Though stores have had Christmas decorations up since the day after Halloween, though the world seems more focused on good sales than good news, though exams and performances and traditions and parties make this one of the busiest times of year, our faith invites us this week to be still and know that God is near.

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Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 40:1-2

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William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” Events from the past often intrude into the present in some way. History seems to repeat itself.

Isaiah’s people were on the verge of a new future. They had been prisoners of war in Babylon for a whole generation. Now they were finally on their way home, but they worried about repeating mistakes from the past that had led them to exile. Some even believed their imprisonment was punishment from God for sins of the past.

God spoke through Isaiah to assure them this was indeed a new day. In the tenderness of God, the past was not only dead, it was also truly past. Whatever the circumstances that had led them to exile, whatever they feared they had done to merit God’s punishment, it was over.  God offered them a brand new start.

God offers the same new start to us each day. The past is both dead and past. Behold, God is making all things new.

Grace Burton-Edwards

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God of peace, give me your peace to let go of the past and cling to your future. Amen.

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Open my eyes, Lord, help me to see Your face.
Open my eyes, Lord, help me to see.

Open my ears, Lord, help me to hear Your voice.
Open my ears, Lord, help me to hear.

Open my heart, Lord, help me to love like You.
Open my heart, Lord, help me to love.

John Michael Talbot

Grace Burton-Edwards

Grace Burton-Edwards is settling in to life in Columbus, Georgia, where she moved this year to serve as Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. When she is not unpacking boxes or hanging pictures, she enjoys writing, going to the theater, and staying in touch with her adult sons.

Advent Waiting: Still, Still, Still

David Burroughs

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