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Calm Amidst the Chaos

Rituals That Heal

Keep on doing the things you have learned and received and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

A good life joins order and novelty. In times of crisis, we need novel responses in order not only to survive but to thrive. We also need predictable spiritual practices, rituals, and behaviors. During this time of pandemic, I still do my morning prayers, daily walk on the beach, and writing. I still take a shower and dress each day! These are my daily spiritual and emotional anchors in season and out. Writing and sending out these daily reflections, as well as morning and afternoon prayer, have also become central to my morning rituals along with showering and dressing, and welcoming the grands each day.

Children need rituals each day. So, after welcoming the grands, before homeschooling begins, we have a brief check-in and then read together. Eating at regular times also helps children and adults experience a sense of normalcy in a world turned upside down.

What are your spiritual rituals? It can be as simple as a brief prayer of gratitude, going over your prayer list, reading a devotional like this, taking a stroll, or reading a book. You can practice daily contemplative prayer – a time of silence, perhaps focusing on a prayer word, or simply noticing your breathing.
Recently, I have found the following ritual of importance. Though my physical world is much smaller, I still have a vocation, a calling, each moment and each day as well as over the long haul. And, so I ask, “God what do you want me to do today? Who do you want me to reach out to today?”

Again, reflect on positive rituals that deepen your faith and help others. They can be your altars in this time of radical change.
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Thank you, God, for waking me up this morning. Give me a sense of your presence and help me discern my calling moment by moment and day by day. Amen.

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Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor, and author of over 50 books including FAITH IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC and GOD ON LINE: A MYSTIC’S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET

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