Skip to main content


 “Be still, and know that I am God! 
I am exalted among the nations,
 I am exalted in the earth.” - Psalm 46:10

In discussing this verse with a friend today, it occurs to me how undervalued stillness is in many Christian traditions. In my experience, stillness can be a struggle because people find it difficult to quiet their minds from racing thoughts, pressing needs, and clamoring desires. The inability to be still or have a quiet mind then becomes a source of shame or guilt, instead of its own reflection point. 

In the Lutheran tradition, we value the tension that plays between positive and negative construction. This is most clearly evident in our interpretation of the 10 Commandments. While the written word is in the negative construction, "do not do this", the interpretation includes a positive construction, "Instead, do this".

Is there a way to put both positive and negative construction on stillness? 

Positive: Being still will help me draw closer to God. 

Negative: Being still will help me recognize the things that are not God. 

In that second construction, it is easier to realize stillness will help us reject the things that are not God. 

My to-do list- not God. 
My negative self-talk- not God
My stresses about things I cannot control- not God
My guilt over things done and left undone- not God
My frustrations with others- not God

As each of these things appears in my mind, I have the chance to acknowledge them and to note that they are not God. They do not get the space or the honor that I have chosen to give to my Creator. If they want time, they have to wait. They are not God. 

In acknowledging what is not God, we have the opportunity to sink into stillness and be present to God's presence in and around us. If God is neither all those things, nor in them, where is God? How is God speaking to us? How does stillness lead us more deeply into God's truth? 

In the days ahead, there are likely to be many things that wish to assert their dominance in our minds and lives. Be still for a moment. Do they bring life? Do they offer wholeness? Do they contain hope and true justice? If not, they are not God. Let them go. 

Continue in stillness that you may better recognize what is not God and embrace the One who is. 


Popular posts from this blog


I like words and I recently discovered Save the Words , a website which allows you to adopt words that have faded from the English lexicon and are endanger of being dropped from the Oxford English Dictionary. When you adopt a word, you agree to use it in conversation and writing in an attempt to re-introduce said word back into regular usage. It is exactly as geeky as it sounds. And I love it. A latibule is a hiding place. Use it in a sentence, please. After my son goes to bed, I pull out the good chocolate from my latibule and have a "mommy moment". The perfect latibule was just behind the northwest corner of the barn, where one had a clear view during "Kick the Can". She tucked the movie stub into an old chocolate box, her latibule for sentimental souvenirs. I like the sound of latibule, though I think I would spend more time defining it and defending myself than actually using it. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure how often I use the

Hosanna! Save Us! (Sermon, Palm Sunday)

The premise of this sermon begins with the fact that the service was "backwards" for April Fools Day. We began with a benediction, flowed to communion, back through the service, concluding with confession.  Mark 11:1-10             How do I give a sermon backwards or upside down? Do I begin with the point I would close with and close with a pointed story? I’m not sure. On the best days, the Spirit works through the sermon to give us the food for thought and the faith that brings us to the table to receive, and commune with, the presence of Christ. Since we communed first today, I’m trusting that the communion that is in us and among us… is also opening us up to a new way of looking at this holy Sunday… Palm Sunday.             Today’s gospel lesson is usually called the “Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem”. What makes it triumphant? -        The people greeting Jesus? -        Like a parade? -        Treating him like a king? The crowd is sho

The Prayer of the Trees

A prompt from Rachel Hackenberg : From the prophet Ezekiel: Thus says the Lord GOD: I will take a sprig from the top of a cedar; I will break off a tender twig from its uppermost branches and plant it on a high mountain. There it will grow into a noble cedar, producing branches and bearing fruit, and under it the creatures will burrow and in its shade the birds will nest. Then all the trees from field to forest will know that I am the LORD, who makes low trees tall and who cuts low the highest tree, who dries up the green trees and makes the dry trees flourish again. I am the LORD; I will do this.  (Ezekiel 17:22-24, adapted) Imagine the praise of the trees in the fields and the forests! Imagine the hope of the dry trees and the trembling of the tall proud trees! Imagine the prayer of the cedar sprig, newly planted and striving to grow! Breath of my breath and Core of my Being You made all things.  You know my weaknesses and my faults- The improper lines, the t