Wherever you are, may you have a blessed Christmas!
At St. Mary’s, we’re particularly active with many types of preparations at this time of year. A spaghetti supper will be held this Friday to raise funds for our annual Christmas Box Project. The Christmas Box Project itself will take place next Saturday, and parishioners will be happily busy with cooking, shopping, wrapping, and delivering.
Another big event takes place this Saturday – on that day, the Rev. Deacon Peter Helman’s ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests will take place. As Daughters, we pray for him as he prepares for this blessed event.
Almighty God, we lift up your servant, Peter; give him grace to nurture your people that we may grow in the knowledge and love your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray that he might be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and that his life be an example of righteousness and wholeness. May his family know the fulness of joy from his faithful loving heart and may he know the nearness of God always. Amen.
-The National Handbook of the DOK, pg. 46-47
Psalm 46: 10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Working on the habit of stillness during the Advent season can be difficult. All around us, we are bombarded by commercials urging us to do more “now, now, now” and to “buy, buy, buy.” There are holiday parties to attend, wrapping to do, and the decking of halls to complete (as the old song reminds us). Work can include added stresses this time of year, too, particularly if one is a teacher and is trying to overcome the mid-year or end-of-term grading. Where is there time for stillness during Advent?
Sometimes, stillness can come upon us in unexpected ways. Today, my husband went in for surgery. The procedure itself was not unexpected, and it was a one-day procedure. Still, it came with its scary moments. Today, I had to be still, and I did not plan to be while he was in surgery. I brought material to read, papers to grade – anything to keep my mind off of what was taking place. But in the waiting room, I realized that I had to be still. Not only did I have to be still in the literal sense of sitting in a waiting room from 7:00am to 2:00pm, but I had to be still in the trusting in God sense. I have spent a lot of time in prayer over the last few hours. In the stillness, I found peace. I carried it home with me this evening as I made chicken soup and lit the Advent candle with my son. I hold on to it now.
Resting in the stillness and the love of God is a wonderful place to be.
Almighty God, the protector of all who trust in you, we thank you for the still moments that you provide to us. Help us to take those moments to be still and to know that you are God; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
-A Collect for Stillness by the Kyrie Eleison chapter of Daughters of the King.
Greetings to you on this first, crisp December day of Advent! During this season of anticipation, the Daughters of the Kyrie Eleison chapter are sharing collects both familiar and new. We hope that as you light the first of the Advent candles tonight that you, too, will “put on the armor of light” and join us in marking the season.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
– A Collect for the First Sunday of Advent, BCP, pg. 211