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Sitting in the chair at the oral surgeon’s office on Tuesday waiting for my tooth to numb, in preparation for a root canal, I realized I was breathing in the meditative way I learned in a Lamaze preparation-for-childbirth class 41 years ago. The breathing calmed my anxiety as I waited. .

Advent is all about waiting. Did Mary know about deep, rhythmic breathing as she waited for the birth of her child of mysterious parentage?

Was Joseph able to slow his breathing as he absorbed the news of Mary’s pregnancy and the shame and dishonor that he knew would come their way?

What are you anxious about this Advent? Are you remembering to breathe?

A retired member of the staff of All Saints Church, Anne Peterson continues to consult with our Leadership Project.