Virtual Chapel: Ritual at Year’s End #3

This is #3 of a 4-part post on a ritual to let the year and decade behind us rest; and prepare our hearts, our minds and our spirits to embrace all that is to come.

Have you ever had the math dream? You forget to go to class for an entire semester and then suddenly it’s time for the final exam and maybe you can’t find your locker or you are just standing outside the classroom…or the Board Room and you are unprepared and in despair. There is no way you can make up for it.

Receiving God’s pardon and peace is a lifelong practice. We let go of something and just when we think it’s gone, here it is…back again and sometimes stronger than ever. Don’t give up! Forgiveness is real. God’s mercy is God’s…to give and to keep giving. Sin, disappointment and heartache lodge in our brains. Peace, restoration and freedom can lodge there too. It is spiritual and physical. Receiving what God has for us is for the whole of us. It is the adventure of life grounded in the Spirit.

“The Glory of God is a human being fully alive.”
St. Irenaeus (c. 130 – c. 202 AD)

Part of receiving peace is trusting that what God gives is steadfast and lasting. Peace comes as we rest in what we know is true about God. Trust what God is doing in your spirit. Receive. Remind yourself of this truth of God. You cannot undo what Christ has done for you. It is God’s great delight for us to keep growing in this peace.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9

When Nehemiah (c. 440’s BC) was praying and praising God he named many things about God. One of his descriptions reads like this: “…you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” (Nehemiah 9:17)  God’s character is revealed over and over again in the Scriptures and it is revealed in our lives too. Think about where you are right now.  Sometimes our peace comes when we recall how gracious God has been to us in moments we didn’t deserve. Second chances. Third chances…or if you are like me, 1,000,000+ chances.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7

The peace of God is a gift of grace. Ask for it. Stay real with your Creator.  And begin this year doing something that you know helps you to be peaceful.  It may be silence or fishing or running or reading.  Whatever it is – do it. Do it today! Embrace the peace that God creatively gives you and do that more and more this year. As you experience the peace God gives, that peace will be present in you wherever you go. And you know what? The world needs more of us to be walking in that Peace.

The Peace of Wild Things
When the despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry

Clean by Natalie Grant

You are loved beyond measure by your Creator and there is nothing you can do to stop that love. Receive it.  May the peace of Christ be with you.

Part 4 of 4 is about Promise…what new word or direction or promise is God offering you in 2020?

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