We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.
By Chaplain Keith Falk, Optage Hospice
For the sake of my relatives and friends,
I will say “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.
—Psalm 122:8-9, NRSV
For those who follow the liturgical year, yesterday was the First Sunday of Advent and Psalm 122 was read or sung in many churches. The Psalmist is speaking to a personification of the city of Jerusalem. While not necessarily directed to us, these are powerful words – especially as we begin this season of preparation, as we await the Advent of the Incarnation, the coming of Christ which we will celebrate in less than a month, on Christmas Day.
Throughout this time after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, we often find ourselves with many opportunities to be around family and friends. Unfortunately, those times can have conflicts as we are more stressed and overworked. And on top of it all, it seems as though it is dark for about 20 hours of every day – an exaggeration, to be sure.
Imagine if, while preparing our hearts for the coming Christ-child, we could say the words, “Peace be within you.” In those moments of stress, we could say those words both to ourselves and to others, offering words of peace when we all need it most. Imagine if, in this season of Advent, we could be intentional about seeking the good of others, echoing the Psalmist’s words, “For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.”
Offering peace and seeking the good of others does not bring about Christmas; none of our Advent preparations do. Christ is coming, whether we are ready or not! The gift of Christ is a true gift, brought by God for us. But in offering peace and seeking the good of others, we can bear witness to the One for whom we wait, the one for whom we prepare, Christ Jesus.
Rev. Keith Falk has served as a chaplain with Optage Hospice since January 2022. An ordained Lutheran pastor, he has worked as a chaplain in hospice and at the VA in St. Cloud, Minn., for two and a half years and served in congregational settings in Ohio and Oklahoma for 13 years prior to that. He and his wife Abby have 5 teenagers at home, which is enough to keep them busy.
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
Gratitude for the legacy of faithfulness at Presbyterian Homes & Services
Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series