A season for snuggling

*a winter prayer*

O extraordinary God
who reaches into the ordinary moments
of our days and nights,
with such tender, transforming touch:
smoothing and shaping,
healing and breaking,
soothing and stretching,
warming and pruning,
I give You thanks and praise
for this changing season
which invites me to snuggle and settle
into Your unchanging love.

Forgive me for failing to see the signs of Your presence
in the rot of leaf litter and the chilling breeze.
Forgive me for my resistance to solitude and silence
and slowing down.
Forgive me for my
hard heart,
harsh words,
and relationships damaged by coldness.

As the heartbeat of the land slows down
and the darkness lengthens
and the harsh cold reminds me of my need
for shelter, and warmth, and light

may Your Spirit offer assurance
that beneath the surface the seeds of life are being tended,
that what is needed for future growth will burst forth
in the rampant joy of spring,
and that each season’s turning and re-turning
is just an ordinary part
of an extraordinary life with You.

Day Thirty: Mindful

Psalm 8
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Revelation 21:1-6a
Matthew 25:31-46

I write this for these words are trustworthy and true:
God makes all things new! (Revelation 21:5)

A new day,
a new year;
handcrafted by He-who-makes-all-things-beautiful
in itself
and in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

A new heaven,
a new earth;
tears gone,
crying gone,
pain gone,
death gone,
as God makes God’s dwelling among us.
(Revelation 21:1-4)

Imagine for a moment the Sovereign Lord who placed each star in its shining setting hands-on in your life, making all things new for you.

Sit for a while with the Psalmist’s question (Psalm 8:4), “what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” 

The sense of past and future
is God’s gracious gift to us:
a profound glimpse into the infinite mystery of the Alpha and Omega,
the Beginning and the End,
the-One-who-holds-it-all-together.

And, as each new season unfolds
and finds its place within the context of the first things passing away
for the long-awaited,
the new-created;
we discover not only how mindful God is of each one of our life circumstances,
but also how heedful,
how aware of,
how alive to
God’s presence and power we must be
that this new time
may, indeed, be the right time –

be it for birth, or death;
holding on, or letting go;
killing, or healing;
shutting up, or speaking out;
crying, or laughing ….

Read again the passage from Ecclesiastes, focusing on the different seasons of life.

What season(s) are you longing for in this new year?
Which make you anxious or fearful?  

 Mindfulness –
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something

… of God handcrafting the heavens,
and hands-on in our lives …

… of God in the seasons we long for,
and those we long to avoid …

… of God in the hungry,
the thirsty,
the homeless,
the naked,
the prisoner,
the sick …

… of God needing a meal,
a bed,
a visit,
a drink …

… of God in the old
and in the new,
in things long passed away
and those unfolding too ….

On this new day
in this new year,
may we be mindful
of what God is making
and fearlessly seek out
the people and places
where new things are happening.