STOP. TAKE A BREATH. MAYBE TWO.
As we head towards the start of the Advent season, with the sanctuary all decorated and the various church festivities unfolding, not to mention all the other stuff people do this time of year, take a moment as you read this email to read this week's lesson from the Psalmist:
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O LORD!
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
As you are taking stock of your day, in this moment where you have stopped and taken time to read this scripture, remember we worship a God who will guide us through all of life, the good & the bad, and a God who does not call us to go it alone.
Allow yourself to imagine what radical change might come if you prayed this Psalm and embodied the pleas therein. What if you lifted your soul up to the Lord?
Allow yourself to imagine the comfort that might come in the midst of everything in life if you put your trust in God? If you allowed God the room to help you know the ways of the divine? If you allowed God to lead you in God's truths and to teach you? If you kept God's covenant and decrees?
HEAR THE GOOD NEWS: This is what Advent is all about - a season to be captivated by the joy of the arrival of the Christ child! A season to 'start over' in your journey with the Messiah.
Lift up your soul! Trust in God! Know the ways of the Lord! Learn the Lord's Paths! Be led in God's truth! Allow God to be your salvation! Be humble and led right! Keep God's covenant and decrees!
And may the Love of God, the Peace of Christ, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit lift and sustain you now and always.
Grace and Peace, Lamar