Monday, December 15th
for Sunday, December 21st, 4th Sunday of Advent
READ: 2 Samuel 7.1-11, 16 “settled”
REFLECT: A well-known test for the freshness of an egg is to put it in a bowl of water. If they float, they’re bad. Likewise, when soaking a pot of beans. The ones that float should be tossed. The things that sink, that settle to the bottom, are worth keeping.
As I read through this passage a few more times, another image came up: a threshing floor, separating grains of wheat from the chaff, tossing it all up into the air and letting the chaff blow away until all that’s left is usable grain. And this made me wonder: what if those things that disrupt our lives, tossing it all up into the air, are actually helping to separate the wheat from the chaff that blows away?
As a person who has moved around this vast country several times, I know what it is to not feel settled, and to feel like I live in an extended period of transition. There’s a lot of uncertainty and feelings of insecurity could completely engulf us. And sometimes, let’s face it, they do. There is a lot of waiting and wondering and hoping.
With so much about the future unknown, it can be easy to put life on hold. Years could be spent this way, thinking that life will really start when some goal is accomplished — when we buy a house, get a dog, finish a degree, start a family, get that dream job or car. THEN, life will be good.
A final image: a handful of unhulled grain. I rub my hands together and the hull comes loose. When I open my hands, the wind carries away the chaff and I cam surprised that what remains in my hands are lavender buds. Their fragrance soothes my senses and invites me to be settled right now, in this moment, because this moment is where my life truly is.
RESPOND: God, help us to remember that you are the one who exists outside of all time, not us. We are creatures of the present. Draw our hearts, minds and senses to the present. Help us to hold all things very loosely and to live open-handedly. When we are waiting for something to come, help us to wait in the spirit of Advent — of the expectant hope of what is already here, and what is yet to come.
Are there milestones in your life that you are waiting to happen before you feel that life can truly begin? What gifts of the present might you be missing while you’re putting things on hold? Practice living in the moment today by noticing what is beautiful, living and growing around you.
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
Psalm 89.1-4, 19-26
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.