Dec. 1, 2020 Finding Calm this Advent - Mother Regan

Dear Ones,

I hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving! Even if this year’s celebration meant new and different ways of doing things, I pray you had time for gratitude and reflection—and perhaps you even found joy in discovering new and different ways of doing things!

My family and I had a wonderful weekend here in Coronado, complete with long walks on the beach, some body surfing, and lots of wonderful food made at home in this beautiful rectory; we are so grateful! It was good to take a moment for our family to feel really at home in this new place. And what an incredible place this is! Truly, Coronado is sacred space, which happens when people bless and love a place over time. God is so present here among you. As I find new corners of town, new pockets of flora, and new relationships with kindred spirits, I feel a bit like Abram and Siri discovering that all of God is here, there, and everywhere.

And unquestionably, God is present in our worship together! Morning Prayer has been a wonderful online success, due in large part to Geoff’s leadership in providing rich, liturgical music and Karen Ray’s film editing skills. And in-person Eucharist has been truly safe, due in large part to Charlette’s brilliant logistical efforts and the willingness of the gathered Body of Christ to love their neighbor by staying physically distanced and wearing a mask.

Sunday we began the church year with Advent I and the alarm bells ringing that now is time to slow down and watch for Jesus in our lives. For my personal piety, I have decided to focus on practices and fasts that will help to deepen my awareness of God around me in my daily life. I also think that this is a timely opportunity to slow down, to consider new practices, and to reflect on both Jesus’ presence in our lives as well as on the world into which we want to bring Jesus this Christmas.

The background anxiety around the globe is presently pegging, and I am sure that you are feeling it, too. Tempers are short and people are frustrated, scared, concerned, and uncertain. Yes there is much joy, too, for Jesus is also with us in this place. But for many, “finding calm” may seem like a far-off luxury given the months-long sustained effort to keep things afloat while juggling so much in all new ways.

In the face of this reality, I offer you this: the best thing that you can do for the world right now is to find your own peace. If it takes you X hours of the day to feel Jesus’ presence enough to function peacefully for the remaining X hours, then I urge you to create the space and time to do exactly that. Indeed, this is what the world needs from you presently—this is what God needs from each of us right now.

Now, I am not suggesting that you fail in your obligations; but perhaps now is the time to reevaluate what you are called to do this season and what you can let go. It is okay for this season and your traditions to look different this year. It is okay for you to prioritize what you can do and what you are called to do over what others want you to do or what you think you should do. And it is okay—strike that—it is VITAL that you take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is what will allow you to serve others as you are able—taking care of yourself and finding your peace is what will allow you to serve others peace. There is a reason that adults are told to put on their oxygen masks first when flying on an airplane with children! We cannot serve our neighbor if we fall short of breath.

As Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” I pray you find your peace this week amid the stressors of the world. Remember what is important, and take good care of yourself so you can love your neighbor. Perhaps start with loving God by watching for Jesus’ presence in the smallest and most mundane of places—I believe you too will find that all of God is here, there, and everywhere!

I look forward to seeing you online or in-person on Sunday morning!

In the love of Jesus Christ,

Mtr Regan+