Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 11/30

Seasons of the Heart by Jennifer Page

Does it seem to you, as it does to me,
that Thanksgiving snuck up on us this year, 
taking us by surprise?
And here we are now
(some of us with turkey and cranberry still on our breath)
- and Advent is underway...

Yes, a new season's begun in the church year
but I’m wondering now about some other seasons,
not marked by dates on calendars:
the seasons of our hearts

My heart has its seasons, many of them,
and I’ll bet yours does, too...
Some of my heart's seasons last but a few days
while others drag on for weeks and months...
The seasons of my heart may or may not coincide 
with nature’s seasons,
or the "holiday" season...

And my heart might enjoy a summery warmth
in the middle of January,
or feel the nip of a cold-shouldered frost 
in early August...
My heart might grieve  
and my tears fall leaves in the spring time,
while peace might bloom like a fragrant rose 
in late November...

The seasons of my heart 
pay little attention to weather reports
and none at all to calendars...

These heartfelt seasons come and go year ‘round,
with their high and low pressure systems
shaping my heart’s climate...

The season now is Advent but I wonder:
what seasons toss and weather our souls,
yours and mine, this time of year?

Is it summer, 
fall  or spring 
- deep in our heart of hearts? 

Is my heart getting ready for Christmas
- or wary of its approach?
Whatever the clime within,
Advent calls our hearts to ready the way
for Jesus to come in...

Like the seasons of our souls,
Jesus pays no attention to the weather or the calendar.
In any and every season 
he's ready to make his home within us:
to warm what’s chilled; 
to put our grief to rest;
to refresh what's wilted; 
and to stir up life new life and spirit...
But the hard truth is 
I may not yet be ready 
to surrender my sadness to joy,
my grief to healing
my worries to confidence,
myself to God...

Still, no matter the season or the mood
- in my heart or in yours - Jesus comes to us  
in season and out of season,
in good times and in bad,   
in sickness and in health,
in hope and hopelessness, 
in sorrow and in joy...

When I need him most and yet might least expect him,
Jesus comes to my heart and to yours:
not just in December,
not just in Advent,
not just at Christmas
not just in December -
but 24/7/365...

Many of us, especially the young,
look forward to Christmas with joyful glee
- some of us, not so much -
still Advent calls us all to open our hearts 
and prepare a way 
for the Lord whose season's come...

Advent's meant to prepare us to weather 
all the seasons of our hearts,
in whatever the season we find ourselves
just now...

What's helpful is to make some quiet Advent time
to spend in prayer, to share the signs, the climate
the highs, the lows, the pressures of the season 
found in our hearts just now...

So, whatever the season in our hearts today,
let's make of Advent a season of hope  
for a change of seasons
to bring us all Christ's peace...

May the gift of the Child born in Bethlehem
change the seasons of our hearts
to help us welcome the One who brings
a season of healing and hope and peace...



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