To Dwell in Sabbath Rest


by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Keeping hope can be hard.

In one moment I am consumed
With possibility’s fire.
In the next I am in the cold, dark cave
Of uncertainty, doubt.
Then moments like these creep in-
Of tempting apathy
That diminish the intensity
And also the fullness
Of life.

I need something between the fire and the cave
That is not half-hearted.

Something like sabbath rest
Which is more than a day off
To watch tv or clean the house.

It is a soul nourishing silence
Or laughter
Or sweet release
That does not distract
But moves with and through
What IS.
It is not anesthesia.
It is renewal.
It says to the heart-
And does not make false promises:

You are enough.
You are beloved.
All will be well.
Let what is within you
And beyond you
Fill you
Sustain you.
Listen to the rhythm of your soul
To rediscover your place among all things.
Rest in belonging.
Find peace in awe-
Refreshment in gratitude.
Let what is overwhelming humble you
Out of your addiction to control.
Spend time in the very source of the
Love-movement in the world
Which you seek and desire.
Let your actions and words
Flow forth from this space.
Trust your deepest oneness instinct
And allow this reality to permeate
Your knowing AND doing.
Divine Love does not desire your exhaustion
But will hold you close
When burn-out is near
If you allow yourself to be held
To dwell in sabbath rest.

From this place
In the time it takes
Enter again the flame or the cave
Or the wooded mountain path.
Enter with a heart in tune
To the God-song singing HOPE
In all you see.

We Wait: An Advent Poem

by Brittany Longsdorf

As a child watches the window
for signs of first snow
we wait
for you
oh, infant Christ

We have stooped low at the river Jordan
with John the Baptist
plagued by uncertainties,
our world in turmoil,
tempest-tossed days

We have been righteously called out,
over-taxed, burdened,
found wanting
on our journey

We have knocked at the Inn,
found rejection,
uncommon hope,
deep warmth
in the unlikely places

We have gathered here
compassion and community
sifting through the darkness
for one white flake
one flurry of light
for the world

We are watching at the manger
we wait
for you
oh, infant Christ.

Brittany Longsdorf is a University Chaplain at Boston University who specializes with international and interfaith students. With an undergraduate degree in Religion from Graceland University and an M.Div in World Religions from Princeton Theological Seminary, she has a passion for multicultural ministry, interfaith work, and spiritual formation of Young Adults. Brittany is currently an Elder in the Community of Christ church.


IN by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin
Things have more meaning now
Than they did before
Words are doorways into
Their own rich and varied world
Simple symbols and motions move me
Reaching for bread
A hand to hold
A barren cross
A set table
I have stepped inside of my faith
Another world inside the one
I’m already in
It moves me closer to what is
A dissolver of distance
Sometimes I walk around like this for days
And my life is filled with light
Careless, I step outside again
Without knowing
And then search my surroundings
For another invitation in
In is where I most desire to be
In love
In relationship
In awe
Inside this faith inside the world
I am in divine presence
And divine presence is in me
It takes hardly anything
To flood me with love and purpose
A single leaf
A gust of wind
A candle
A welcome
A hymn
A hug
A sip of coffee beside an open window
All drenched in the sacred
How else can I explain
This heart-brimming-over way of life?
It is no secret
There is always, always
An invitation
Left before you
Wherever you are
Really look and you too will walk through the doorway
To this holy world within the world