As we anticipate the season of Advent, we are standing at a threshold, ready to go deeper into the mystery and presence of God. Intentionally poising our hearts to receive Christ in a brand new way is exciting, a bit scary, and always filled with wonder. We don’t know when or how it will happen, we just know that it will. However, often we miss this opportunity to receive the revelation of Christ, for we become so busy in the Christmas celebrations that we defer our longing for something real and holy to be revealed to us, until after the rush of the holidays. That seems a bit to be missing the point, but it is such an easy thing to do.
I invite you to follow the longing in your heart this season for something whole and true to be revealed to you. Something is on the horizon for you, the likes of which you could never imagine, until it’s here.
One way to ready oneself for the surprise of God is to settle more deeply into one’s contemplative practices, whatever they may be. Perhaps you sit in silence each morning, or pray through the scriptures in a way that engages your heart, or maybe you take long walks in the beauty of our countryside. Another way to enter into the mystery of God is to use Anglican prayer beads. Many of you created your own prayer beads. And if you did, I invite you to settle into your practice during this quiet season. If you need help beginning or strengthening or expanding your prayer practice with your beads, please let me know. I will be glad to sit with you and explore what is working, what needs some attention, or what has been bubbling up for you around your practice.
I’m attaching advent_bead_prayers to use with your beads. These come to you from this website: http://www.stmw.org/
beads.html. As you will notice, they have prayers for each liturgical season. You may want to experiment with these beads and commit to praying them through this season and see where you and God are on Christmas morning. Since Advent is a quiet season, I might also suggest that you find an even simpler and quieter version, perhaps as you work through your beads to pray into people or situations where you would like the peace of God to appear, or to reflect upon the “flash of the divine” you may have experienced during the day when suddenly peace settled over you, or a conversation went more smoothly than you had imagined, or you had a sudden inspiration of a way to solve a problem.
If you would like a set of prayer beads, we will have some ready for you in the Parish Life Center! You may make your own and/or pick up a set already made for you. Also, if you would like your prayer beads blessed, please let me know.
Advent blessings to you,