By Ann Boyd

An Advent Invitation: Five Minutes of Peace

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It’s the same struggle every December. As the lights twinkle around neighborhood windows, our to-do lists triple in length with end-of-semester responsibilities, family traditions, and social obligations. How does a person reconcile “dashing through the snow” and “making a list and checking it twice” with “peace on earth, goodwill toward men”?

The church encourages us to create space in Advent for quiet reflection on the coming Christ, but that task can seem like a cruel suggestion at the very busiest time of the year. Barring taking a month-long solitude retreat, it feels like a hopeless situation. Mary may have had time to treasure all these things in her heart, but she didn’t have any Secret Santa gifts to buy.

But at its core, the call into a reflective attitude is a worthwhile one. The church invites us into the season of Advent because Christmas is big. We're celebrating God coming into the world as a human for the salvation of the world, and remembering that the whole story is not yet written: Christ will come again. We have this time built in because it's a lot to take in on one day.

The theory is sound, but how is one to mesh Advent with holiday merry-making in real time? Take heart! The Lord is gentle and kind. As we have prayed for you and listened to him, we’d like to offer an invitation to peace in the midst of the flurry.

The staff at The Well is committing to find “five minutes of peace” daily in Advent. This is no small sacrifice, we understand. It can be difficult to find five minutes! But we think it is a manageable challenge, and we’d like to invite you to join us in this spiritual discipline.

Here is what Five Minutes of Peace entails:

  • Setting a timer for five minutes.
  • Refraining from talking to another human.
  • Begin this practice on the first day of Advent: December 1, 2019

Here is what Five Minutes of Peace does not involve:

  • Guilt if you miss a day.
  • Special equipment.
  • Reading or listening to something assigned.

Here is what Five Minutes of Peace might look like:

  • Sitting quietly and looking out the window.
  • Listening to Handel’s Messiah while taking a walk.
  • Lighting a candle and journaling.
  • Drinking a cup of coffee in silence.
  • Contemplative prayer or breath prayer
  • Lectio divina in a short passage of Scripture

We all have different challenges, and we all have different ways to find peace. We believe that the Lord would like to invite you to find just a few moments to experience peace even in the bustle of December.

Would you join us? Here is how to do it:

  • Sign up to receive a brief list of tips to get started
  • Find five minutes each day beginning December 1 (the first day of Advent) to be quiet, as much as you are able
  • Post a photo from your Five Minutes of Peace on your Instagram page with the tag #fiveminutesofpeace

We look forward to experiencing God’s presence together as we take on this challenge.

Blessings to you!

The staff at The Well

About the Author

Ann is the Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast host and the interim editor for The Well. She has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests in community, spiritual formation, and writing. Ann has a BM in Music Education from Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois with one husband, two spunky teenage daughters, and three snuggly cats. You’ll often find Ann baking sweet treats in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or audiobook.

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