Daily Bread December 11

Expanding Expectations
Stassi Cramm, First Presidency

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful,to those who turn to him in their hearts. -Psalm 85:8

As we enter another Advent season or time of expectant waiting, I feel like I’ve spent the greater part of 2020 waiting. The global pandemic has disrupted the world in ways I never expected. At the start, I failed to realize the seriousness of what the world was facing.

When leaders initially made decisions to physically distance and cancel in-person meetings and events, I thought this would be a short-term situation. I’m embarrassed to admit that my personal hope was that the world would be back to normal by May so I could attend the Broadway series, Hamilton, performance in St. Louis, Missouri, as planned. Clearly my initial expectations of what I was waiting for were gravely misguided.

Then when leaders had to make decisions about canceling camps and reunions while continuing to keep churches closed for physical gatherings, my understanding of the seriousness of the situation grew. My expectations of what we were waiting for became murkier.

Amid the uncertainty, I was amazed and profoundly grateful about how the church was rallying to meet people’s needs for community and support while complying with health guidelines to protect the most vulnerable. I was intrigued to hear stories of how numbers were growing, and many were finding new connections in ways never expected. I was profoundly grateful to witness the church supporting Mission Tithes through eTithing and other online means of giving.

Personally, I hoped it would be safe for family and friends to gather for our daughter’s wedding in August. Unfortunately, the wedding that we all expected had to be reimagined in a pandemic-friendly way. Most people joined virtually. Our son could not travel from Japan, so he watched online as his life-size cardboard cutout moved down the aisle.

I have learned may things this year about trust. Trusting others and God is important because clearly, I can’t control everything, and my expectations are often too limited. As we journey through Advent, I am trusting the Spirit to expand my expectations of what is being born and guide me in doing my part to help make it happen.

Prayer Phrase

“Trust what is being born.”

Spiritual Practice

Jesus, the Peaceful One

We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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