In solitude we discover that we are not what we do but what we are given; that we are not the result of our judgments but born out of God’s love. In solitude we find space in which God can be revealed to us as the great lover who made us and remade us. In solitude we discover that we can only do something for others because God did something for us; we can only love because we have been loved first; we can only bring freedom to others because we have been set free; we can only give because we have been given.
—Henri J.M. Nouwen, “The Gift of Solitude,” The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)
How often do you allow yourself to seek solitude? What gifts can solitude offer you? Join the conversation.
He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
—Matthew 14:19 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Join us for The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse. Beginning next week and throughout Advent, we will gather online for weekly guided spiritual practice sessions, group learning, and facilitated discussion. The eCourse also includes daily readings from this week’s featured book, The Wondrous Mystery. Register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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