Advent Reflection: Be Still

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Each week of Advent we offer a reflection on "What Advent Means to Me." This week: Mary Park, FPC Director of Christian Education.

I am not naturally still. The idea of waiting does not come easily to me. Maybe that is why I love the season of Advent?!

For the most part, I approach life asking, “What is next?”. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God.” I find this to not only be counter to our culture, but also counter to the way I approach life. So Advent is the time I hear God most prominently telling me to slow down, be still, and listen.

With four children, our family calendar often resembles a game of Tetris. I try to slide one activity out and fit another in. My husband and I closely coordinate pickups and drop-offs, along with who will be watching each child at any given time. Yet, during Advent I hear God’s call to “be still” and listen to him. I see how God works through my children by offering moments to pause, listen, and feel God’s presence.

My eight-year-old waits with anticipation to light the Advent wreath each week. He loves the stillness, the quietness, and the presence of God in that moment. In those flickering lights nothing else matters. The temper tantrums, the to-do list, the presents, decorating, and homework can all wait. For in those precious moments, we know that God is with us. God fills every inch of that sacred space, and that is all that matters.

This week I will gather with my family around our dining room table to light the candle of Joy. In that stillness and quiet I will look around the room and remember that in this season of Advent we are not waiting to finish anything, but are called to go along on a journey. We are on a journey with God, and I rejoice that God calls each of us to travel through Advent in the quiet stillness of winter.

FPC Richmond