Advent: Focusing on hope
In this third week of Advent, we are focusing on the theme 'Hope' and Isaiah 35.1-10
Today we offer an opportunity for personal reflection, using an ‘examen’, a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The examen is an ancient practice that can help us to see God’s hand at work in our whole experience. Here, we take a moment to reflect on our Advent pilgrimage.
You might like to read this slowly, pausing to reflect on each of the questions.
Turn out that light. It’s too bright.
Don’t shine into my darkness, into my pain.
Do I wallow in the hopelessness of the dark or do I strive towards the light?
Does the light bring clarity to my life, my decisions, my pain, or does it make things harsher, more difficult to endure?
Do I hide from reality in the darkness of obscurity or am I willing to be open, to be enlightened?
Do I bring light to others, to enable them to lift their heads, to see, to experience, to live?
Am I a person of light, shining in the world, bringing the light of Christ to others?
Am I someone to whom others come, to find a source of brightness, of wisdom, of illumination, of insight?
Am I willing to see all God’s children and encounter Christ in all I meet?
Where can I see Christ’s presence over the weeks of Advent?
Lord, may the light of your love shine in my life, clarifying, wiping out darkness and shining bright into the corners of despair. May my heart be as open as that of a child so that I can recognise your presence, here with us in the hope of this Advent season.
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