Fourth Monday • Advent 2022

December 19, 2022

KNEADING HOPE • NEEDING HOPE

Have ever just needed a good massage? This past week I’ve suffered from headaches and a neck massage would have been so welcomed. My energy level has also been low so I didn’t even feel like treating myself to a relaxing bath of eucalyptus and lavender. I believe good self-care is very important, we should listen to our bodies because they do speak to us. The older I get, my body at times will even “yell” at me so I should pay more attention to what it is telling me. I guess in a way, I was needing hope for rest and recovery from my body aches. I indeed received hope, I had a friend praying for me and I made rest a priority for myself. No matter the calamities life throws at us, when we need hope, we find our HOPE is always in God!

“Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob,whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

—Psalm 146:5

Our bodies carry scars

not visible to the naked eye.

but they are there,

telling the stories

our lips hesitate to utter

of how we settled for less

than you longed for us

to know.


We hunger for the touch

that reminds us

we are in your image,

and we ache

for the tender knowing

that hallows flesh

and soul,

that honors the sacredness

of skin

and reminds us

we are whole.

- Jan Richardson

Romans 12:1-21

A Living Sacrifice

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 

so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 

if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 

10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 

20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

KNEADING HOPE

You contemplate the depths of your soul being kneaded by grace, like dough being kneaded into bread. Your soul is now a malleable lump kneaded by the hands of God. You see our soul being worked on, passing through His fingers…. All you see is His hand, as we see it in certain icons, emerging from a cloud in order to bless the saint standing below it. And now you are standing next to God, watching His hand as it kneads your soul.

— Archimandrite Aimilianos

To learn more about Archimandrite Aimilianos, click this link: https://orthodoxwiki.orgAimilianos_(Vafeidis)#:~:text=The%20Elder%20Archimandrite%20Aimilianos%20(Vafeidis,career%20as%20a%20foreign%20missionary.

Click here to read a blog I discovered called, “Needing God’s Kneading” https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/prayingintherain/2015/05/on-needing-gods-kneading/

Thanks for visiting, my heart is full 💟!

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps.146.5&version=RSV

Ps.146 Verses 5 to 5

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