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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But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

2 Peter 3:11-13

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Many Hispanic Christians are getting ready for a beautiful tradition, Las Posadas. From December 16 to 24, two people acting as Joseph and Mary go from house to house looking for a place to stay. Finally, on December 24, one household welcomes them, and Christmas begins.

On first reading, these words from 2 Peter sound pretty scary — a thief, loud noise, fire, everything dissolving. If you like the world as it is, if your life is comfortable, you don’t want it to change. The day of the Lord’s coming sounds like a scary thing.

The people who first received this letter, however, were not comfortable. Their lives were difficult, like the lives of Mary and Joseph. Many were poor. Some faced persecution. They wanted a new world — where injustice would be disclosed and righteousness would be welcomed, like Mary and Joseph finally finding a place to stay.

During this holy season, we are invited not to fear the coming of Christ, but to welcome him. Righteousness wants a home. May it stay with us.

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, to dream your dream for the world, to slow down and see my life from your perspective, and to welcome your righteousness. 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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