Take a Breath

By Debbi Jo Dieter

It’s Advent.

Take a breath.  A deep breath. And a third.

This past Autumn, we’ve been starting our spiritual direction groups with three deep, wonderful breaths – breathing in God’s peace, love, truth, everything. And breathing out what needs to be gotten rid of, or let go of.

Sometimes, in my own prayer times, it’s more like 7 breaths, or 12.

Advent is preparation.

And, immediately, a wince in my heart – so many expectations for Christmas!

But, Advent is not preparation for Christmas. Not really. It’s preparation for Jesus. And that feels different, life-giving ,on-going. Jesus brings Life to my world, to the whole world.

O come, o come Immanuel! – we are desperate for You, Lord Jesus. Our whole world needs Your peace. My personal world needs Your peace.

As I breathe in, I whisper people’s names, places in the world, feelings, hopes, sighs, longings. This is my prayer.

And, God, Immanuel, is with me, breathes through me, and aligns my aching heart with The Heart of compassion, and longing, and peace.

This is my Advent prayer.