Daily Bread December 16

Clean Hands and Hope
Glenn Johnson of West Des Moines, IA, USA

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. -Jeremiah 29:11

Avoiding COVID-19 has forced me to live in isolation. Lacking the physical presence of others, I am acutely aware of my daily solitude. Living in isolation, spiritual mindfulness invites me to focus on presence and gratitude.

Every day, I press the pump of a large one-liter bottle of hand sanitizer I inherited from my sister. As I apply the sanitizer, I pay attention to my hands and, as it evaporates, I find hope in God’s presence and my call to be the hands and feet of Jesus even in these times.

During a pandemic marked by uncertainty, I am buoyed by deep and abiding gratitude for family, faith community, and divine presence.

It is easy to be overcome by anxiety in times that are unpredictable. Coping with uncertainty invites us to imagine our best possible future, to “lift up [our] eyes and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which [we] are sent” (Doctrine and Covenants 161:1a). During Advent, I invite you to spend 15-20 minutes each day in gratitude, hope, and imagining your best possible self.

Begin by writing in your journal a list of things you are grateful for. Add to your list each day. Nothing is too small to draw the attention of our gratitude.

Then embrace the certainty of this season of Advent and light with prayer that welcomes the coming light that illuminates the birth of the Christ child. As you imagine your best possible self, forget the restraints that have limited your vision in the past and instead focus on all aspects of your life. Imagine specific details including what you will do, where you will be, and whom you will be with.

During Advent, we anticipate the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, we live in communion of the presence of the Christ, and we envision the mystery of Christ’s return. Focusing on clean hands, we find hope.

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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