Advent Practices – Week 3 – Day 1

THEME: RADICAL GENEROSITY

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, GIVE ME JOY IN BLESSING OTHERS THROUGH RADICAL GENEROSITY.


CENTERING:

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Galatians 4:4-5

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:
MEDITATION

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

When we meditate on Scripture, we take a short passage and examine it closely, letting it sink into our hearts and minds and experiences. We pay attention to its subtleties. As you begin this practice, make yourself comfortable. If you’re a sensory person, use blankets or candles or other means to awaken your senses. If you’re a nature-lover, sit outside and soak in the birds’ songs and sunshine and breezes. You might play some music before you begin or in the background as you read.

Today we’ll examine the words of Philippians 2:5-7a:

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” (NLT)

  1. Read these three verses slowly and prayerfully, asking Jesus to guide you in your meditation. Ask Him to speak these words directly to you. If you get stuck on a word or phrase, stay there. Don’t feel pressure to finish the full passage. Look to the Lord to show you why He stopped you there and what He would like to say about it. Then sit in silence for a few moments before continuing.
    • Short form: Get quiet and ask the Lord to guide you in His understanding of this passage. Then read through it once making note of anything that resonates with you.
  2. Now read the verses again in smaller sections. Repeat each part several times in your mind or aloud. After each one, pause. If your mind begins to wander, repeat the words of the verse until you can return to a place of stillness and silence. As questions or thoughts or emotions arise, write them in your journal.
    • Short form: Scan each of the sections of the passage above and which one of the smaller sections seems to stand out the most. Read that section 2-3 times and then pause. As questions or thoughts or emotions arise, write them in your journal.
    • You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had …
    • Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to …
    • Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave …
    • and was born as a human being.
  3. If your mind wanders, repeat the part you’re focused on. Ask Jesus if there’s something about what your mind wanders to that He might address with these words. Ask Him to help you listen and pay attention.
  4. Again, there is no pressure to meditate on the full passage. Do not rush through simply to feel like you’ve “finished” the practice or accomplished a task. Remember, this practice is all about helping us carve out silent space for God to be present with us, so even if all you sense is a stillness or quietness of heart, consider that a blessing of God’s loving presence.
  5. Now, ask the Lord to show you the place or places in your life where He is calling you to surrender power, wealth or influence in a posture of radical generosity.. Listen for the Father’s voice to speak in love. If the Lord brings your mind to a place where you are holding on or resisting His call, ask Him to show you what it means to live generously and take the position of a servant.
    • Short form: As you reflect on the specific section that drew your focus, ask the Lord what it means for you to “have the same attitude that Christ Jesus has.” Write down any thoughts or truths that come to mind in your journal.

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

Closing: Lord, give me joy in blessing others through radical generosity.


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Photo credit DiEtte Henderson

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