Welcome to this meditation for the second Sunday of Advent. It is the second in the series of meditations I’m offering through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
This offers about half an hour of focussed prayer and reflection to help you mark this season, and prayerfully be attentive to God.
You will need a bible; a notebook and pen would also be helpful for you as you reflect and note things that emerge for you.
Ask God to help you to be open and engaged through this time, to know the depth of your longing for God in your life.
Advent invites us to look forward to Christ’s second coming, fulfilling the promised completion of God’s work in creation.
St Augustine speaks of us having restless hearts that remain restless until they find their rest in God.
This deep restlessness, is the manifestation of deep longings within us that can only be fulfilled by God.
Do you recognise the longings underneath your restlessness?
What are the particular aspects of your longing?
The poem, ‘The Invitation‘ is a profound expression of longing. A longing for conversations and relationships that have depth. It was written after the author had been to a party where she had found many conversations that were superficial and pretentious. She longing for something different and wrote this challenge to engage with the heart of the matter.
These deeper and inner most aspects of our being can make us vulnerable when we share them. So we often don’t reveal them to others (or even ourselves).
Yet engaging with these depths connects us to the most important energy for life.
Listen to ‘The Invitation‘ and notice what most inspires you in it.
The Invitation began
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
What of your own longings or desires did ‘The Invitation’ resonate with?
You may find it helpful to jot down for yourself any awarenesses that have emerged – of emotions stirred in you, of situations you long for to be different, of depth of relating you desire
This passage is the beginning of Mark’s Gospel – ‘the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’.
The writer, having announced his intention, then draws on a prophecy of Isaiah to introduce John the Baptist and his proclamation that the one who follows him will baptise with the Holy Spirit.
Is this enough to interest you, the reader to know more? See what desires does it arouses in you as you read it?
Notice any ways in which the word’s of John the Baptist arouse a longing in you for good news, and or the work of the Holy Spirit in you.
The gospels reveal something of Jesus’ longing for the fulfilment of creation:
John 12.32: “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, shall draw all to myself.”
Matthew 23.37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.”
Take time to ponder the longing in the heart of Jesus.
who are present to the fullness of time.Blessed are we …
who kneel in prayer and raise hearts and hands to God.Blessed are we …
who make space and place for the holy within.Blessed are we …
who are free to allow visions and dreams to be.Blessed are we …
who welcome angels and trust in strangers.Blessed are we …
who admit in humility the truth of our poverty.Blessed are we …
who are open to possibilities and smile at the impossibleBlessed are we …
who extend hands of communion healing threats of separation.Blessed are we …
who have strength to be weak.Blessed are we …
who live in waiting and surrender to the timeless.Blessed are we …
who wait with faithful longing and hope.
Take a few minutes to notice what effect this time has had upon you.
Notice how the God of longing and hope is with you.
It may be helpful to record for yourself how you have been affected, what your sense of God has been, what significant things have emerged for you.
Please use the ‘Reply’ section below to share anything that has emerged for you from this meditation.