This week marks the third week of Advent. 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 third Sunday of Advent, my morning message, Walk in the Light (https://youtu.be/q542XpTMVIw) looked at the beginning of the gospel of John (John 1:1-9). As human creatures, we need light for life. In reality, we don’t know the time of year Jesus was born. They didn’t issue birth certificates to first-century Galilean peasants! But it is fitting that we celebrate the birth of Jesus so close to the time of the winter solstice since, at Christmas (according to John), “the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)
But light is more than a physical phenomenon. Light signifies insight, vision, discernment and understanding. We can gain insight and understanding, we can discern more clearly, when we bask in the presence of the Light of the World, Jesus. Jesus is, according to John’s gospel, the incarnation of true Light and of God’s Word. He is the source of Life.
Throughout this season of Advent, I invite you to bathe in the light of God’s Word and God’s presence through scripture and prayerful 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 Dec. 13 devo is written by Suzanne Clemenz, Trinity’s Associate Pastor for Caring Ministries and and incorporates scriptures from Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; and John 1: 6-8, 19-28. View it at http://www.trinitylafayette.org/advent/third-sunday-of-advent-the-light-of-the-world
- Trinity’s weekly Advent group will focus on additional scriptures around this theme of light, including: Genesis 1:1-5 and Revelation 21:1-4, 22-25 and, of course, our biblical theme guiding us through this season, Luke 1:78-79.
- 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. This week’s 20 at Twilight reflects on Mary’s Magnificat in Luke, chapter 1. https://youtu.be/RlgiTPa94AM