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Scripture Focus: Revelation 14.12
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

Matthew 23.39
For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Reflection: From Silence, Peace :: Peace of Advent
By John Tillman

Israel’s God was a speaking God. He spoke regularly and directly through his prophets. He did not speak in vague generalities but mandated specific actions. He did not only speak to nations and peoples, but personally to individuals. But Israel repeatedly ignored his words, scorned his pleas, and even his punishments. 

And God went dark. 
He snuffed the light. 
He dried up the prophets’ voices. 

The people suffered exile, slavery, and silence. Israel waited for her messiah not in literal darkness, but in the darkness of a continual silence from God. 

Cracks in that silence began to rumble in the Temple when Gabriel announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist. Another foreshock rattled the town of Nazareth when Heli’s daughter, Mary, reported an angelic visitation. More foreshocks of the earthquakes to come.

Even when the Glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds and the angels appeared proclaiming peace on Earth and their song invaded the night sky, it was only an announcement. It was the invitation, not the party.

The God who turned his back, came back. He came to speak peace to the people who had chosen death instead of life and suffering instead of blessing.

We need the silence, the darkness, the waiting of Advent. 

We need this time to turn off the noise of our self-reliance and to sit in silence listening for God’s words of life. We need the weight of darkness to press out of us all hope of saving ourselves by our own wisdom, strength, wealth, or power. Only when we sit in darkness long enough can we lose the illusion that there is light in ourselves that can lead us anywhere other than deeper into the dark.

In this last week, as we celebrate the peace of Advent, take time to slow down and seek peaceful moments to separate from the seasonal clutter of noise and light and sit with darkness and silence for awhile, seeking God.

May we not wait for God to raise his voice in desperation over the ruckus of our lives to get our attention.
Seek silence and darkness for a time, so that you can meditate and wait to hear his intimate voice and feel the light of his peaceful presence.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. — Psalm 31.24

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Chronicles 27 (Listen -1:28) 
2 Chronicles 28 (Listen -4:59) 
Revelation 14 (Listen -3:51)

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