In the 15th century a small town in Russia was experiencing a very high incidence of violence, creating an atmosphere of fear and stress among the people, including the local monastery, where the monks could no longer concentrate on their prayers. Andrei Rublev, an icon painter, was called to paint something that helped the monks to remain calm and prayerful in the midst of all the restlessness. Rublev produced a depiction of the three angels visiting Abraham described in the book of Genesis. The angels are seated around the table hospitality, with the angel in the center pointing two fingers at the chalice on the table and leaning toward the angel on the left, who is offering a blessing. The third figure points to an opening through which the viewer is invited to join the three at the table, to enter into the flow of hospitality and spiritual comfort. When the monks prayed with this icon, now known as the Trinity icon, they were drawn into the loving intimacy and safety of that circle of hospitality and they were no longer afraid.
The spirit of God dances within and around us unceasingly. God is with us. This is the message of Christmas - the birth of the baby Jesus. We can "birth" the realization of God's presence any time. We are immersed in God's love and grace every single moment of our lives. All we have to do is recognize this and pause long enough to enter into the safe and loving flow of the Creator's care. Fear not! I bring you glad tidings of a great joy! God is with you! Jesus shows the way - Stop. Listen. You are standing on holy ground. Enter and find peace.
The task of prayer is not to make something happen, but to become aware of what God is already doing so that we can respond to it and participate in it. Be Still! And know that I AM.