Meditation for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Waiting with Humility

Welcome to this meditation for the third Sunday of Advent. It is the third 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. 

Nick Helm

List of Meditations
  • The sections below take you through the stages of this meditation.
  • The headings are shown.
  • To move into the content of the heading, tap/click on the + sign next to it. The content will then show.
  • Give yourself some time to settle into this time for prayer and reflection
  • Get comfortable in your seat
  • Take a few deep breaths to help you relax and become more still
  • Let your awareness be on God’s welcoming presence to you in this moment
  • Jesus reminds us of God’s desire to give good things ‘how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask’
  • Let yourself sense the generous heart of God – open to you
  • Ask God for the ‘good things’ that you desire for this time of prayer and meditation.
  • Play the video below – the Taize chant ”Ubi Caritas’ and rest in the ‘caritas et amor (charity and love)’ of God’s presence.
  • As we continue the Advent journey with its invitation to look forward to Christ’s second coming and the completion of God’s work in creation, we recognise that part of that work is for God to do within us.

 

  • For God to complete in us the process of finding our true selves and enabling us  to live our true selves more fully. 

 

  • This is true humility – to know we are not ours but God’s, to be freely and un-selfconciously ourselves. To do this is neither big-headed nor humiliating. 

 

  • Take a few minutes to ponder ‘in what ways do I long to be myself, my true self, the person God created me to become?’

Thomas Merton was probably the most well known monk of the 20th Century. He found his vocation to be a Trapist Monk after a difficult childhood and early adult life. Based at Gethsemane monastery in Kentucky, he shared much of his faith journey and spirituality in his writings. 

The prayer that follows reveals both his doubts about his own journey of faith, and also where he puts his hope.

Notice what strikes you as you listen to his words. 

  • In what ways do you know your ‘desire to please God’? Sometimes we only recognise our desires by the way in which we feel we are failing to meet them, when we are anxious or disappointed.

 

  • Merton invites us to see how God looks to the heart of things – and values our desire to please him.

 

  • We can find it difficult to admit ‘not knowing’ or to accept not being in control, or not having things. We can deny these realities or try and manipulate things to avoid facing these realities.

 

  • The word humility is derived from humus, earth. Living with humility is to be grounded, earthed, real, without illusions or delusions about oneself. We are dependent on creation, on our creator. We rest on God. 

 

  • What realities do you find difficult to face, what ways of avoiding reality do you find yourself using?
  • Sometimes it is harsh reality that brings us down to earth with a terrible bump. 
  • The story of the death of John the Baptist, Matthew 14.1-13 is a horrific story of Herod and Herodias abusing power to avoid the truth that John spoke. John’s life was totally in their hands. And it was taken from him – the ultimate humiliation .

 

  • Read the passage.

 

  • How must it have been for Jesus to hear of John’s death?

 

  • Notice Jesus’ response to the news. Jesus, the Word of God whose ‘hands flung stars in to space’, does not rush to deal with Herod, but instead he seeks solitude.

 

  • The Gospels show Jesus finding his true self in relationship to God, in solitude and prayer. It is this that empowers his life, his mission.

 

  • Do you recognise within yourself the draw to solitude and prayer, to finding your true self with God?

Take time to be still with your loving God, to rest and know yourself in knowing God.

(Tap/Click on the box below to listen to Be Still and know)

  • Take time talking to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit about the things that have emerged for you.
    • Speak openly, honestly, humbly…
    • Ask for the grace you need to wait with humility

 

  • Listen, sense, notice the response you receive.

 

  • Finish with the Lord’s Prayer

Blessed are we…

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 impossible

Blessed 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 humility.

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. 

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