Coming

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(Advent begins on Sunday, November 29. The word Advent means “coming,” as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming as a baby in a manger so long ago, anticipate his coming again at the end of time, and – hopefully – become more aware of the many ways Christ comes to us each day…)

On the first Sunday of Advent, as my morning message (https://youtu.be/qU2cJE75IWk) looks at scripture from the prophet Isaiah, we discover that God’s Word and God’s presence go hand in hand. Jesus is God’s Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14). In Hebrew scripture The Ark of the Covenant in the Temple contained the Word of God (the two tablets of the covenant given to Moses on Mt. Sinai) and the presence of God (on the Mercy Seat atop the Ark).

This Advent season, I invite you to engage in a process of being attentive to God’s Word and God’s presence through scripture and meditation, perhaps using the process below. A free app to assist you with this way of practicing attentiveness to God’s presence can be found at https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/centering-prayer-mobile-app/

  • Read a passage of scripture
  • After reading, say this simple prayer of the early Church, “Come, Lord Jesus” or the prayer of the boy Samuel from 1 Samuel 3:9-10, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”
  • Sit quietly for ten minutes or more, listening for God’s voice
  • If your mind begins to wander, refocus yourself by using a mantra, perhaps: “God, guide my feet into the way of peace”

You might use the following resources to select a scripture – a different one for each day or one for the full week:

  • Trinity’s weekly online devotional. The Nov. 29 devo is written by Jeremy Grossman and focuses on Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. View it at http://www.trinitylafayette.org/advent
  • Scriptures from the sermon. The Nov. 29 sermon uses and references: Isaiah 2:1-5; Luke 1:78-79; Luke 2:14; John 14:25-27; John 2:13-22
  • Twenty at Twilight is a weekly video post that provides a 20 minute guided meditation, a way of praying with scripture, to conclude the day focusing on and resting in the presence of God. The Scripture accompanying this week’s 20 at Twilight is a passage from Revelation, chapter 21. View it at https://youtu.be/I7UaCUBv1nc

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