Advent’s Invitation to Stillness

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Gazing up at a star filled sky, I linger in the stillness of the moment. In the hushed darkness, transfixed, the stars seem almost to dance. My mind shifts to a night long ago, when one lonely star spoke the most magnificent of invitations. Advent’s invitation to stillness whispers the same petition: Stop, Listen, and Behold.

Inviting us into a sacred space of stillness, Advent breathes Hope through the freshness of the incarnation into souls weary and world worn.

Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.

Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.

We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.

the simplicity of stillness

Marveling at the starkness of the trees and gardens in my yard, I am suddenly struck with the simplicity of it all. No longer cumbered by leaves and busy growth, all lies peacefully resting.

Yet in that rest lies hope for another fruitful season.

The stillness in its simplicity speaks of waiting, glad anticipation. Perhaps Advent’s invitation to stillness beckons me into a similar, hopeful, rest of expectation.

Advent, a time of preparation and waiting, invites a sacred stillness which often feels impossible amidst the hustle and bustle of the season. Yet, when we accept the invitation to the simplicity of stillness, we find incredible restoration, hope, and joy.

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

sunlight through bare branches

the sacred space of stillness

Quietness, the true beauty of stillness, gifts us with a keen awareness of His Presence.

Standing amid the stillness of a chilly evening, my breath came easier, my body relaxed, and my awareness of His embrace deepened. It was as if the silence spoke all the words I ever needed to hear.

We sometimes fear silence because our busy minds process seemingly unending information, demands, and at times, anxiety. We fear letting go of the noise we embrace as normal.

Yet God continually invites us into the life-giving sacred space of stillness, where we commune with Him.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;” (Psalm 37:7)

Echoed in traditional Christmas carols, Advent’s invitation to stillness spills forth with remarkable clarity:

“…the world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.” (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)

“Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright.” (Silent Night)

“O Come Divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day!” (O Come Divine Messiah)

white advent candles in pine branch wreath

Perhaps as we celebrate Advent, reflecting on Christ’s first coming as Light in a dark world, while eagerly anticipating His second coming in victory, stillness binds our hearts to the hope we have in His unfailing love.

advent’s invitation to stillness

Whether you celebrate Advent in a more formal way or choose mindfully keeping Christ first in your Christmas festivities, consider cultivating times of stillness.

  • Stop. Incorporate pauses into your day; make space for stillness as you make space for chores, errands, and obligations. Breathe. Ask God to increase your awareness of Him.
  • Reflect. Meditate on specific seasonal scriptures, or listen to a traditional carol, reflecting on the message. Ask God to help you more fully receive Him this Advent.
  • Quiet. Still the noise: in your mind and surroundings. Limit internet usage, television, anything causing over-stimulation for mind and spirit, at least for a specified time each day.
  • Illumine. Bask in the glow of your tree, special candle, or favorite lamp, while meditating on Jesus as the Light of the world. Invite Him to shine His Light into the dark seasons of your life and heart, illumining them with hope.

A refuge from overwhelming emotions, stillness offers healing and the refreshment of tranquil moments amid the turmoil in and around us.

Indispensable to our spiritual lives, stillness enables us to know, rely on, and trust God more fully, as we step into the sacred space of rest and quiet.

Advent’s invitation to stillness comes in the midst of the year’s busiest season, offering us a place of peace and rest. A place, from which we gratefully reflect upon the first coming of the Messiah, while joyously preparing our hearts for His triumphant return.

Of all the invitations you may receive this season, the invitation to stillness is the most precious. Will you accept?

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All content is copyrighted and the intellectual property of Donna M. Bucher, Serenity in Suffering 2020.

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