Advent Practices – Week 1 – Day 4

THEME: SAMPLING AND IMAGINING

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME SEE WHAT YOU SEE AND IMAGINE WHAT WILL BE.


CENTERING:

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by Thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel
s
hall come to thee
O Israel.

SETTLING IN:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).

Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.

PRACTICE:
COMMUNITY

For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says of the church, “as each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (4:16). Growth and health is a slow process. As we said on Sunday, it doesn’t happen at Christmas speed. We have to decelerate, take an extra second to intently see someone’s facial expressions and body language, adjust our eyes to really look, and pay attention to the parts of the body that need extra care.

  • As a member of Christ’s Body, when have other members sustained or supported you? What tangible things have people done to aid you when you were not operating optimally? Short Form: Think of a time when a member of Christ’s body was especially encouraging or supportive to you. What did that person do? How did their attention and effort aid you?

  • Ask God to bring to mind a person or family in our church community He would like to nurture and encourage through you. As you consider the person, do any needs come to mind immediately? How can you help meet those needs? Take the next few moments (or schedule a block of time during the coming day) to intentionally reach out to that person. Short Form: Ask the Lord to bring to mind someone in our church community who might need care or compassion in this season. Spend a moment in stillness and see who the Lord brings to mind. Spend five minutes praying for this person.

  • If you aren’t immediately aware of his or her needs, stick with the conversation long enough to get below the surface. Pray for that person silently as you listen, and ask God to help you hear with His heart. Short Form: Take a small step to reach out to that person and let them know you are praying for them. Write a note, send a text or email, make a quick call. If you don’t know a way to contact this person, email us and we can help connect you directly.

  • In your journal, write down what the Lord puts on your heart to do to care for this member of His Body, as well as when and how you plan to do it. Short Form: If this practice of community made you feel awkward or uncomfortable, consider why that might be the case? What might God be bringing to your attention through those uncomfortable feelings?

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Lord, help me see what You see and imagine what will be.


Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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