Beloved Friends-

During this sacred season of Advent, we are given an invitation into a time of waiting and wondering. We are encouraged to slow down and suspend the notion that we know how the story goes, and instead, consider the possibility of what it means to wait for something unexpected to be born in our lives anew. As we wait and wonder together, I offer a new poem or prayer each week as a small gift for the journey as together we make our way towards Bethlehem once again this year.

May you never forget that you are loved,

A Blessing Called Sanctuary (by Jan Richardson)

You hardly knew
how hungry you were to be gathered in,
to receive the welcome that invited you to enter entirely—
nothing of you found foreign or strange,
nothing of your life that you were asked
to leave behind or to carry in silence or in shame.

Tentative steps became settling in,
leaning into the blessing
that enfolded you, taking your place in the circle that stunned you
with its unimagined grace.

You began to breathe again,
to move without fear, to speak with abandon
the words you carried in your bones, that echoed in your being.

You learned to sing.
But the deal with this blessing is that it will not leave you alone,
will not let you linger in safety, in stasis.

The time will come when this blessing
will ask you to leave,
not because it has tired of you
but because it desires for you to become the sanctuary that you have found—
to speak your word into the world, to tell what you have heard with your own ears, seen with your own eyes, known in your own heart:
that you are beloved, precious child of God, beautiful to behold,
and you are welcome and more than welcome here.

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