Zeph 3:14-20 / Philippans 4: 4-7 / Luke 3: 7-18

Being hopeful in dangerous times is not always easy. As Christians, we know that our hope comes mainly from within. To nurture our state of intrinsic hope, we need to practice a number of Habits. Nine habits stand out. Last Sunday we reviewed habits 1-4: Being Present; Mindfulness; Avoiding Distraction; and Selective Attention-keeping a focus on hope.

Habit 5: Meditation. This involves intentionally changing our relationship with our thoughts. We train ourselves to be less concerned with the thoughts and place our attention on the mind itself. To do this, especially for left brained people is a discipline as we focus on our 5 senses. Some steps that help are: Find a quiet relaxing space within which to meditate; Relax and sit erect in a comfortable chair; gradually become aware of your breathing; Allow your attention to be rest in your breath; notice the sensations that you experience in your body; and lastly remember that you are not trying to get rid of sensations and thoughts but it is to notice them and not get caught into them.

Habit 6: Using our Senses: We need to account for all 5 of our senses. Allow each sense speak to you in the quiet. It helps to remember that we live in the midst of dynamic energy and we are not alone.

Habit 7: Wonder: The dynamic energy of the Universe is about us. Modern people get shut off from this due to many factors. Celebrate hearing a running brook, a singing bird and the beauty of the stars on a clear night. We are a part of the wonder of Creation.

Habit 8: Bearing Witness: We come from the universe. We are made of iron, carbon and magnesium as well as many other elements that all came to earth from other places. We need to see we are in a large community and not alone. We need to speak of it with Hope.

Habit 9: Being Present to the Universe: We have been granted intelligence. We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself in the words of Carl Sagan. “We had our roots in the 13.7 billion year evolution of the cosmos. The universe has a capacity to regenerate. What we experience is a new rebirth of which we can be a part.” My Hope is in Jesus. Jesus guides us to see hope in love, joy, and the Peaceful celebration of life itself. We are the witnesses to this developing hopeful truth in the world. May it be our Light this Christmas.