Friday, December 19, 2008

Advent musing: silent retreat

Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
Hosea 10:12

I walked the grounds of the retreat center yesterday. Nature is surely in a time of rest, of "fallow ground." Even the earth joined in our "silent retreat." What a difference from a few short months ago! My last visit there, the rabbits were scurrying everywhere, deer walked by the lodge and stared in the windows, and the birds were serenading me during my walk with songs and trills.

Yesterday showed the change of seasons. There were signs of last year's "crop" of seeds and berries. There were places where the tall grass had been flattened by a herd of deer, bedding down for the night. Other than birds flying, there wasn't a whole lot of activity. Things were still.

I walked in the peaceful turns of the stone labyrinth. It was tranquil under the trees. The reflecting pond nearby showed no ripples.


We are in that time in between. The manger and cross remembered. The reign of Jesus still to come.

My heart is at rest. Taking time to stop and listen and reflect can do that. Even now, as I finish a busy morning of studying and writing, the peace remains. A peace that defies the scurrying around of five days before Christmas. Like the soaking rain outside my window, it's saturated my heart.

If I could give you nothing else, this Christmas I would give you peace...

Peace be to you..
E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come...

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