Advent devotion: Chapel with candlelight

News | December 5, 2017

A dark and unfamiliar chapel fills with candlelight and quiet music. One by one, confirmation students and sponsors file in and find a space to settle in for a time of peace and reflection. There’s fidgeting; that uncomfortable time when teens are trying to figure out what’s going to happen, where their friends are, if someone is watching them. If you think about it, it’s not that different from what keeps adults from being still and present if you think about it.

The singing starts…

Slow me down oh Lord slow me down
Help my heart to hear Your sound
Speak into my life Lord speak now
Slow me down oh Lord slow me down

Clear my mind oh Lord clear my mind
Bring me peace that I cannot find
Take my worldly thoughts break my pride
Clear my mind oh Lord clear my mind

Wake my soul oh Lord wake my soul
With this mess I’ve made make me whole
Of this life called mine take control
Wake my soul oh Lord wake my soul

The worry is gone. The fidgeting is gone. The chapel becomes warm and inviting. There is peace. There is light in the darkness.

For me, it is during these times of darkness that I find myself most connected to God, when I slow down enough to be present and listen. It might be during the actual darkness of a candlelight worship or it might be in my living room with just the Christmas tree lit, or it might be during a period of darkness in my life when the world is just moving too fast. It’s during these times that I recognize that God’s the light, wrapping me in warmth, inviting me to be close, shining brightly to lead me through the darkness and helping me to be still, to listen.

Amy Thoreson lives in Bettendorf with her husband Jon and kids Ryan and Emily. She spends her days working for the Scott County Health Department and spends her free time enjoying family activities.

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