Be Still My Soul

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Be Still

And Know

That the Creator Loves

And Gives Us

Transformative

Restorative

Joy

Through the tenderness of a babe

Jesus Christ

Amen.

(Pause)

Betsy phoned me the other day saying,

“When it rains it pours, right?

I’d wish it stop raining.”

I have to be honest,

Its hard in this moment to view the world

With eyes focused

Filtered

Filled with the promises of Advent

Because we have been witnessed to the brokenness

When those who are far from our community,

Make their transition beyond the veil

Leaving behind the remnants of division and disrepair

For their loved ones to argue over-

Realizing that perhaps, the discord

And falling away from God’s loving and healing arms

Was always there-

So how do we walk with them,

To lift up their heads

To see the glory of God

And that their redemption is drawing near?

(pause)

We have been a witness to the brokenness

And confusion

That illness has, robbing us of our loved one

And the only way we are able to take that first breath

Of this new reality of emptiness

Is through weaving and sharing stories

Stories filled with laughter,

Of delight

Of memories that stir within us

The happiness causing us to raise our heads towards God’s promise

Living through and in the growing moment,

That the kingdom of God is near!

(pause)

We as the collective community of Christ

Are watching and observing the damage of this world

Upon us, beloved

When fear tossed onto our path

When anger, diverting us from the path

When apathy, litters the path

Chokes and strangles the bonds that we have,

With the Creator God!

Blocking us from the renewing peaceful presence

Of the gift from God,

Blossoming in the birth of a babe

Whose cries echo

the coming of reestablishing righteousness for God’s people

Dissipating disillusion that there can be jubilation in our living,

Giving us hope!

(pause)

“Now when these things begin to take place,

 stand up and raise your heads,

because your redemption is drawing near.”

(pause)

These words,

And this concept about

End times

Linger in our consciousness

Jesus is teaching both us

And the disciples

Here in the Gospel of Luke,

Paralleling the conversations

That He had a couple of weeks prior

In the Gospel of Mark.

Jesus does not concentrate on the specific signs of destruction

Rather,

Jesus says,

 “Look at the fig tree and all the trees;

  as soon as they sprout leaves

you can see for yourselves

and know that summer is already near”

That we should be watchful, mindful

That in that moment of awakening and turning,

The kingdom of God is near.

That the disciples,

And those gathered

Hearing Jesus,

Also needed to be reminded

That they should not only be watchful-

But also

Not so encapsulated in the troubles of this world-

But that is troubling in itself,

Because if we are to live out what God has called us to

To love and care and journey with one another

Doesn’t that mean we too are swept up in the hopelessness

Sadness,

Fragile state of this world and our lives?

How would this passage reflect and impact,

“Be on guard

 so that your hearts are not weighed down”

when we can’t help it,

When our faith is tested

because we are human,

so we call out,

saying to God,

committing to God

it is in GOD,

we put our lives,

our hopes,

our trust

(pause)

“Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.

Leave to your God to order and provide;

In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

This hymn,

These words,

Remind me

That as difficult as it is,

We must keep watch,

For we know-

From these words,

The Son of Man will come

Jesus Christ has not abandoned this world,

Or us, beloved

Because the Good News is that-

Because of the unending love that God has for God’s People,

God sent Jesus Christ,

Into this world,

In an unexpected way

And began to bring LIFE into our hearts

And Joy

And HOPE

And MERCY

And GRACE!

Because of Jesus’s birth-

We cannot be fearful to LIVE

We cannot cling to fear

We must stand and lift our heads,

Because we are the beloved people of God!

Because when the kingdom of God comes,

We are redeemed

Made whole,

Washed through clear, healing waters

We must not worry so about “When, Jesus, When”

But,

“How will we drive out the darkness, in those sacred spaces?”

“What places shall we carry the Good News?”

“Where can we be a presence, for and of faith?”

“Who needs to be comforted,

And brought into the body of Christ,

Into the community of love?”

THAT, my sisters and brothers in Christ

THAT is how we will lift up our heads,

Lifting our voice,

Because God, Our Liberator

Is always near,

And Jesus, the Savior of the World,

Is coming!

Thanks be to God

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