Lay you down your burdens, all your fears
And I don't need your deepest secrets whispered in my ear
'Cause I can hear your heart

from “Hear Your Heart,” James Bay, 2015

At this moment, let your heart be open, because God can hear your heart.

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A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots. The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will delight in fearing the Lord. He won’t judge by appearances, nor decide by hearsay. He will judge the needy with righteousness, and decide with equity for those who suffer in the land. He will strike the violent with the rod of his mouth; by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked. Righteousness will be the belt around his hips, and faithfulness the belt around his waist.

Isaiah 11:1-5

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I have the worst morning breath! I am sure I am not alone in this, at least I hope I’m not. Dentists point out that the cause of this is called “rest and digest” mode. The act of sleeping with your mouth closed and not allowing air to enter or leave. One of the cures to bad morning breath is to simply open your mouth.

My favorite passages in the Bible are when God breathes within or on humanity. The Hebrew word is ruach (breath, spirit, wind). Through ruach God not only gifted oxygen, but also knowledge, disposition, behavior, wisdom, strength, and life. The truth is that human beings are sacred and holy because their inner being is filled with the breath of the sacred and divine God.

But I wonder if we have been in “rest and digest” mode? God continues to breathe and rest God’s spirit upon us. God calls us to inhale and exhale, because a cure to bad morning breath — and the sometimes wicked stench of our world — is to breathe. Just breathe.

Timothy Peoples

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God of all things, you rest your spirit of wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and strength within me. Grant me courage to share the spirit every day, in every space, with everyone I encounter. Amen.

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The Lord bless you and protect you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Timothy Peoples

Timothy Peoples is a native of Jones, Oklahoma. He attended Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. After graduating college, Tim began his formal training for ministry at Yale Divinity School. Currently, Tim is a Pastoral Resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Advent Waiting: Still, Still, Still

David Burroughs

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