December 1, 2016
As we go deeper into this season of preparation, this got me to thinking of what I really want:
Then this message of H-O-P-E was shared by Tammy Devine, ELCA Wellness Manager, in an email from Portico, the ELCA’s insurance and benefit service:
The season of Advent invites us to live in hope with the confidence that God dwells with us in Christ Jesus. The power of the Holy Spirit empowers us to be a bold voice as we advocate for the oppressed, the poor, the sick, and the neighbor. Yet too often we as leaders are so busy caring for others that we fail to nurture our own sense of God’s presence.
Amidst the activity of this season, I’ve included below a simple practice to foster hope. May hope in Christ’s coming give you the courage to live faithfully, and be well, this Advent. [this is the essence of her practice ideas:]
A Practice of H-O-P-E
H - Hear one another. Listen fully to others, and for God’s voice. Faithful listening allows God to be your guide.
O - Observe through God’s eyes. Recognize Christ in others rather than being quick to judge or make assumptions.
P - Be present in the moment. Remember that wherever you are, there is God. Practice acknowledging this presence through intentional reflection on your day: When did I feel God’s presence? What (or who) helped me recognize God? When did I feel disconnected from God? What got in the way of connecting with God?
E - Expect that God is at work in the midst of the chaos and weariness of our world — and through you.