Lectio Divina Paci – December 1, 2014

Monday, December 1st

for Sunday, December 7th, 2nd Sunday in Advent

READ: Isaiah 40.1-11 “comfort”

REFLECT: How could it not be “comfort” — the word that leaps off the page and wraps itself around my heart like a load of laundry, fresh from the dryer? It was actually hard to move on and read the rest of the passage. I just kept repeating that first line, “Comfort, O comfort my people…”

As I mulled over the word “comfort,” the word itself shifted and became “comfy fort,” and a memory snapped into place. When we were kids, my uncle was often our babysitter. Always more of an older cousin than an uncle, we made the BEST indoor forts with him. In the dizzying heat of central California summers, pillows were commandeered from the couch and bed sheets were festooned from the ironing board to the coffee table. Those were truly the best of times.

This feeling of nostalgia made me wonder about nostalgia itself and about longing for things past. And in the season of Advent when we long for the coming of Jesus — who, indeed, has already come! — I wonder how this idea of nostalgia can give comfort in the present and hope for the future. Because the truth is, nostalgia can also be bittersweet, leaving us feeling sad, lonely and bereft.

How do we keep from turning that corner? There may be any number of ways, but the most powerful one for me is gratitude. I’m not saying that it is easy; I’m saying that it works. Gratitude shifts our focus and realigns our hearts. When our hearts are full of gratitude for things past and present, it makes hope for the future a reality.

RESPOND: God, we are tired and broken and in desperate need of comfort. Most days, it seems there’s no end in sight to war, violence, hunger, poverty, injustice, or even the daily grind. Help us to reimagine a life together that is healthy and whole, where we give out of our abundance rather than our emptiness.

What manner of comfort are you searching for and where are you looking for it? Has your life become so hectic that you no longer hear your own thoughts or your own voice? Do you even know what you need? How might your searching change if you infused it with an element of gratitude?

LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):

Psalm 85.1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3.8-15a

Mark 1.1-8

 

Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.

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