My Advent Prayer Journey is intended to help us all slow down and to spend a few minutes contemplating the Advent message. It is recommended that you set aside a few minutes each Sunday to read the guidance for each week of Advent and then to live out that guidance and advice each day.
It’s that time before Christmas …
For those of us who look forward to Christmas, it’s the excitement of counting the days before a special birthday.
For some of us, Christmas is not always much like a celebration, it may even be a sad or a lonely time
Advent could be a time of adventure –
a time for looking at life – at my life –
Sometimes my life is like an adventure –
and sometimes it isn’t.
This Advent I can spend some time reflecting on that with God
Wait for the Lord the scriptures tell me –
I can spend a lot of time waiting …
at bus stops,
at traffic lights,
for peace to come,
for news of a loved one,
for the days to grow longer,
for flowers to grow …
In the time of waiting how do I wait?
With patience or impatience?
With peacefulness or in anger?
With gratitude for all that is?
Or am I full of resentment, wishing for what is not?
Am I conscious of the sounds and sights of God’s beautiful world?
Do I wish I was someone else or somewhere else?
This week let me find time to be still and to reflect on my life as I wait for the Lord to come.
My Advent Prayer Journey
A time to prepare
To get ready
To look ahead
Preparation is an important part of our lives,
Someone prepared for my birth…
And for all the important occasions of my life,
there have been preparations…
- preparing for the first day at school
- preparing for adulthood
- preparing for my first job
I may have helped others prepare…
- for a wedding
- for a holiday
- for going into hospital
- for an important event
To prepare well, takes time, and trouble….
It’s the small things that count,
the thoughtfulness, the care,
the attention to detail,
and then in the end result,
the satisfaction of a job well done!
Isaiah says, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
Isaiah, and prophets are those who prepare us for change!
They lament what needs changing in our world and sometimes make themselves unpopular by pointing out what needs to be done…
There is a bit of prophet in me when I listen to that voice within which says: How can I prepare a way for the Lord?
This week let me find the time to consider how I prepare for life’s events and how I will prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.
My Advent Prayer Journey
The Lord is near…
Advent is a time for “rejoicing” and celebrating LIFE – even if sometimes my own life feels far from the need for a celebration, and the news I see and hear about the world does not make me want to celebrate.
God has sent Jesus, the Saviour, into my life,
into our world –
and through Jesus and because of Jesus I know that God is very near!
Perhaps I could spend some time before Christmas asking myself:
“Do I find God in all things?
Do I see Christ in others?
Do I recognise the Holy Spirit in the everyday events of my life?
John the Baptist the cousin of Jesus, was a witness to the nearness of God…
People came to ask him if he was ‘the Christ’.
There was obviously something about him and the way he lived his life that made people believe that the Lord must be close by, that he must be near.
John said, “There stands among you, unknown to you, – the one – Jesus the Christ. I am not worthy to undo his sandal strap.”
John the Baptist is the witness
Am I, or can I be a witness to the love of God in every time and place?
“Christ be in all hearts telling of me” – can it be true?
Am I a bringer of peace, of hope, of reconciliation, enthusiasm, encouragement, laughter or joy?
Do I want to be?
This week may I find time to let Christ into my own heart so that I can be his witness.
My Advent Prayer Journey
The Lord is with me,
Come, Lord Jesus
“Welcome!” is a universal language and welcome and hospitality are at the heart of every faith and creed.
welcome the stranger …
welcome the friend …
finding the friend in the stranger is all part of the welcome.
Every day I am invited to welcome
the new life that is offered me.
“Good morning” is the welcome and
“How are you?” is the greeting –
Is it “good” morning for me, and how am I really inside and out?
The Welcome I give myself and others might depend on the few moments I take to check how I really am and if it is a good morning.
Is the Lord with me?
If I am in a rush, agitated or anxious, frustrated, angry or depressed – then the subsequent greetings may not be as warm, relaxed and open as I might wish.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Mary, betrothed to Joseph, was visited unexpectedly by Gabriel, the messenger from God, asking her to welcome the amazing news
that she was to be the mother of Jesus, the Saviour.
We are told that she was deeply disturbed, and yet was able to express the welcome to her womb of the oncoming birth of Jesus:
“Let what you have said be done to me.”
Mary waited through the long nine months of her pregnancy.
Mary prepared making the journey first to Elizabeth to share the good news, and then was prepared to go to Bethlehem.
Mary celebrated the birth of Jesus in, of all places, a stable – the nearness of God within.
Mary welcomed with Joseph, her Son, Jesus into the world, and then welcomed the shepherds, kings, and all who wanted to come and visit her newborn Son.
On this last Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, amid all the excitement and anticipation of Christmas, let me remember to be always welcoming both to friend and stranger, for Jesus is in every one of them.