In this month of holidays and darkness we explore the spiritual theme of “Stillness.”

What does it mean to be still? It might mean to stop trying to control, stop worrying, stop striving, stop fighting; stop, relax, wait. To me this suggests that stillness is not a passive thing, but rather like listening, it requires awareness and attention. Being still means going against a culture that demands visible action and doing. It demands waiting in a culture that demands that we make our own way, now. It demands surrender in a culture that never surrenders. Stillness is countercultural.

This is the season of Advent, which in the Christian tradition celebrates waiting for the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World. Waiting with anticipation; waiting.

This season, I invite you to consider where and how you find stillness. What helps you stop, relax and wait? And what you are waiting for?

“Be still” is a directive to those who sit in meditation in a sangha. It is also a passage in Psalm 46 in the Jewish Bible. This reinterpretation of the Psalm is by Barbara Gibson:

Spirit is our refuge and our strength,
always present, even in times of trouble.
Therefore we are not afraid,
even when the earth rumbles
and volcanoes erupt beneath the sea
when ocean waters foam and roar
and mountains tremble and shake.

There is a calm river which flows in our hearts,
the place where Spirit lives.

Spirit lives in the cities, moving
among people, comforting us.
Spirit is present to give help when the changes come,
when nations are in uproar and governments totter.

Spirit inspires us to break the grip of war,
to shatter the power of missiles and bombs,
to ban all nuclear arms forever.

Come, let us see what Spirit can do
when people find their strength,
when Spirit bring hope.

Be still and know the One!
Among the people and on earth,
nothing is higher or deeper.

Spirit is with us, our refuge and our strength.


Blessings on your week,
Rev. Mary