Tag Archives: still

Still, Still, Still

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, December 26, 2015

holy family icon

Still, Still, Still

Yesterday was out of the ordinary. Different, even strange. Few people on the streets. Few cars on the roads. Since yesterday was Christmas, few stores were open. As my husband and I drove home from church shortly before noon, I commented on those things. My husband made the deep comment that Christmas day is a pause. A collective catching of breath for most of the United States. For many people in the world, too.

Today, being December 26, everything went back to normal. Extra rushing around, what with all the after-Christmas bargains available.

In my book of Advent and Christmas meditations, today’s reading featured a bit of one of Maria von Wedemeyer’s letters to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His fiancée spoke of the calm and quiet of Christmas night. “Can you think of a better time than night-time? That’s why Christ, too, chose to come to us—with His angels—at night.[1]

A hush comes over the world, on Christmas day and night. A hush, a lull. Even a preternatural stillness. It was truly a Holy Night. Regardless whether the date of Christ’s birth was actually December 25, or some other date, I believe God caused that night to be still. Peaceful. A resting place between the noise, the rush, the wheels, anger, frustration, and confusion. All that started up again, after the Christ child was born.

But this mysterious time of silence—this special peaceful time—was certainly a day to remember. The stillness. The hush. The birth of Messiah.


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[1] God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, trans. O.C. Dean, Jr., compiled and edited, Jana Riess (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010), 69.


‘Twas One Week Before Christmas

snowy trees and blue sky

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In recent, past Decembers, I have been harried, rushed, almost frantic with everything that needed doing. But not this year. I’m so proud of myself—I have not been rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off. (Yay!)

However, I must confess that I did not set out to act like this—calm, peaceful, almost sedate. No, my December just turned out that way. So far, at least.

Perhaps the calm came to me as a byproduct of the email prayer list I moderate (St. Peter’s Prayer Project, an intercessory prayer ministry for members and friends of the church I belong to). Or, possibly, the peace could have come from my fairly regular Advent devotions (I’ve only missed two days this season so far—great batting average for me!). Then again, I have been joyfully consistent in my exercise at the YMCA gym in town—three times a week for several months. Yay! (My spiritual director knows and approves heartily.)

I am not quite sure what is helping me to maintain a modicum of peace and serenity this Advent season, but I am thankful for the wonderful feelings of calm and contentment that come to me more often than not. More often than in recent Decembers, I can tell you! Whatever (Whomever?) is helping me, may it continue. (Thanks, God!) I do appreciate the peace.

Let’s pray. Dear God, thanks for helping me to stay in the peace and calm of Your presence this Advent season—at least for a while. Forgive me when I stray from Your side, and from where You want me to be. I know I don’t always need to run away in a physical sense. I can stray mentally, spiritually and psychologically, too. But You help me to quiet my mind. You still the tumult in my soul. You allow that Peace that passes human understanding to enter my heart. Thank You, Prince of Peace. Amen, God!