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Thursday, December 29, 2011

by
Pastor Lynette Ross
Pastor – CoH-Houston Devotion Thursday, December 29, 2011 - Psalm 46:1-3, 10a - Pastor Lynette Ross - Pastor - CoH-Houston - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas 2011-12-29 040:00:00

Scripture
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:1-3, 10a

A Word of Hope
We are in that in between time. The tenderness, reflection, and ultimately the majesty, of celebrating the birth of Jesus have passed, but the New Year has not yet begun. Most of the parties are over, and we may be busy trying to put everything away from Christmas while at the same time we get ready for the festivities of New Year’s Eve.

In between times though can be tough; even tougher is admitting it. After all, it’s the Christmas Season and you’re supposed to be happy and joyous. It’s not that you aren’t, it’s just that in between time, and sometimes, only sometimes, we put inordinate expectations on what we think the New Year will bring. As it gets closer, we begin to realize that perhaps we have placed too many expectations on an arbitrary date in time. In the New Year we had expectations that we were going change our attitude about our job, or change jobs, or find a job. We were going to get fit, lose weight, and restyle our wardrobe. All those closets, drawers, and cupboards will be ship shape in an instant once the New Year comes. I could go on, but you get the picture. So that in between time, once the glow of Christmas wears off, and we realize we have created unrealistic expectations about the New Year, can be deflating and disheartening.

In those in between times in my life, those that just happen, and those that I create, two things have helped me. One is to take deep, deep breaths of life and as the Psalmist tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God!” Revel in it, drink it in, and find your center again. The other thing that helps me in those in between times, as well as those times when I struggle to have perspective, is to be of service to others. It’s amazing how being of service to others takes my mind off me and changes me; it brings me so much more than I give. As the New Year approaches and we all contemplate what the New Year will bring, let’s all find ways that we can be of service to others. Just look around – the opportunities are endless!

Prayer
Dear God help me to be still and know that your presence and steadfast love are always with me. Help me to embrace opportunities to be of service and in the process bless others. May I discover that when I reach out to others I am enriched beyond measure.

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