Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love

For the month of December, we’ve been celebrating the four weeks of Advent and the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

I’m sharing each one of those short little video sessions right here for you.

All are welcome to our little “church” time. Sending you hope, peace, joy, and love.

Week One: Hope

Hope is a word that gets used a lot, but it’s not flimsy, wishful thinking. It’s not weak-minded or naive; it’s not silly.  

Hope is powerful and helps us withstand fire and trials and despair. Hope can live in the white-hot center of the flame.

We don’t only access hope when the hard thing is over. Hope can live in the middle of it. 

Watch Hope

Week Two: Peace

The idea of Peace might feel farfetched right now. There is so much going on in the world. But maybe we are also waging war against ourselves, our bodies. Maybe we might be waging war with things happening in our relationships, the people in our lives, or our thoughts, or our struggles. 

But what about waging peace? We can do this. This the perfect time to commit to pursuing peace, well-being, wholeness, and “shalom” in our lives and in our communities.

Watch Peace

Week Three: Joy

It is possible to have Joy even when we are not experiencing happiness. Happiness happens to us but Joy is a choice purposely made.

The third week of Advent, often referred to as Gaudete Sunday, (Gaudete is a Latin verb that means rejoice.). Gaudete Sunday calls us to a contemplative joy, one that recognizes the sacredness of the season. 

No matter where this season finds you, we have access to joy. Joy to the world! The Lord has come.

Watch Joy

Week Four: Love

Let’s talk about Love that knows no boundaries — reaching out to the farthest corners of our hearts.  This love beckons us no matter where we find ourselves. 

What small simple act of kindness can we extend to make a difference in others’ lives? Love just isn’t an idea, it’s a verb. Let’s actively participate in love and choose love.

Watch Love

What If Your Faith Looks Different This Time of Year?

This is a time of year where we have a lot of traditions that revolve around church. So I am thinking a little bit about what YOUR experience might look like if your faith looks different or has changed.

Turns out, there is space and room to worship and connect with God and the birth story of Jesus in other ways. Advent is everywhere you can access it right in your own little home. 

My suggestion is to go inward and feel around with a lot of intention and grace about where and how you feel most connected to this beautiful, sacred story that we treasure together at this time of year. 

Think about what helps you feel personally connected to the sacred story of Jesus. Maybe that’s walking outside… that’s a faith practice. Maybe it is hosting a beautiful dinner where your conversation is intentional and meaningful with the people around the table. That’s a faith practice.

Maybe it looks like the music that you listen to over the course of the month. It could be what you’e reading, what you’re listening to, who you’re learning from. 

What feels precious and sacred and holy to you at this time of year can be anything and it can be everywhere. You are not exempt from it.

Remember: Faith practices in general are meaningful in the broadest sense of the term. Maybe some of your traditions aren’t going to be under a steeple this year. Maybe you’re not going to be involved in the church programs. And that’s okay. 

It’s so very normal for your faith to grow and evolve. 

This is what I consider to be really faithful work. I see it as someone taking their belief seriously, examining their own practices and biases, and taking a good hard look at structures and where any injustice is baked into the sauce. 

There’s no room in this conversation for any sort of guilt or shame. None. If your first impulse is to feel as if you’re doing something wrong, it isn’t true.

I’m thrilled for whatever this journey looks like for you. I honor it and I think it is valuable and meaningful. 

If you’re in the process of asking questions and growing and evolving in your faith journey, I encourage you to dig deeper in my Me Course on Deconstruction and Reconstruction with Evolving Faith co-founder Sarah Bessey. I have a special promotion running on this five-part, on-demand e-course for the holiday season. It is $25 for a limited time only. Learn more here.