• Office of Christian Formation

A Voice in the Wilderness

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

This year has been nothing like I anticipated or expected, and with each passing month of “life in pandemic,” I have discovered more and more just how attached to “my life and routine” I was. I grieve for the parts of my daily life that I have lost. I fear the social and emotional implications that these many months spent at home will have on my young children. I long to spend time with loved ones I no longer see, to explore museums/restaurants/festivals in my city, to travel and discover other parts of this world.

It is a tempting notion to just let this time “ride out” until we can return to the lives we once had. To consider this a blip, an in-between time that doesn’t need attending. But here we are in the first week of Advent, and Jesus reminds us (again) to KEEP AWAKE. Don’t fall asleep at this wheel. This isn’t a throwaway time.

God is with us, even when it feels like we are living in a Groundhog Day cycle. Jesus is speaking, even now. And we are being asked to show up too – to stay awake, to pay attention, and to treat each moment (even this one!) as if it is important and blessed. There is a voice crying out in the wilderness, and we are being asked to listen. We might not have much to offer, but God can turn little into a lot.

How might you remember to stay open, to stay awake and listen this day for the movement of the divine in this world? It could be as simple as attending to your breath. Breathe in and out a few times, speaking Jesus’ words ‘Keep Awake’ in your heart each round. Maybe you can close with a simple prayer:

Dear God, it is hard to stay awake today. There are so many things I would rather stay asleep to. But I hear your call, and I am listening. Help me stay awake and look for you and give me courage and vision to notice your presence in my life on this day. Thank you for being with me. AMEN.

-Paris Ball

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