Meditation for the 4th Sunday of Advent

Waiting with Expectancy

Welcome to this meditation for the fourth Sunday of Advent. It is the fourth 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
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  • 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
  • Recognise the things in life at present that you are ‘waiting for’ – whether it the delivery of a parcel or the end of covid restrictions, name them
  • Listen within yourself for a deeper waiting – for God’s fulfilment of all things in creation. 
  • Prayerfully be with these waitings as you listen to the Taize chant ”Our Soul is Waiting for the Lord” and rest in the ‘caritas et amor (charity and love)’ of God’s presence.
  • As we continue the Advent journey we look at the annunciation and God’s work of incarnation – of becoming embodied.
  • The angel comes to Mary, bringing greetings of God’s favour and presence with her. 
  • There is more news for Mary, news that will turn her life upside down, and mean that she is pregnant with God.
  • Meister Eckhart, Dominican theologian in the 13th and 14th centuries talks about God giving birth to God’s self in our souls. That we are all pregnant with God. 
  • Let yourself ponder God coming to birth in you as you sit with the annunciation story and a song about Mary, pregnant.

Slowly read the passage.

Let the scene come to mind – noticing Mary, where she is what she is doing, then the Angel.

Watch in your mind’s eye their interaction. Watch the mood, the looks in the faces of Mary and the Angel.

Notice how you are drawn to this – what do you notice, react to, empathise with?

Make some notes for yourself about what emerges.

This song explores Mary’s experience of being pregnant, and the trusting in God that it called from her.

Listen and notice what resonates for you. 

Notice where the Annunciation story and Mary’s Song have taken you. 

What might the things you have noticed be showing you about what you are carrying? About what God might be bringing to birth in you?

Sit with any sense of this ‘unborn’ Christ within you. How do you feel about its presence? What do you want to say to this Christ child?

  • Take time to talk to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit about what has emerged for you.
  • Are any of the words of Mary from the Gospel or the song ones you want to make your own?
    • How can this be?
    • Here I am.
    • Let it be with me.
    • I wonder what I’ve done
    • I’m frightened
    • Be with me now
    • Hold me together
    • Lighten my darkness
    • Pour over me your holiness
    • I offer all I am
    • Help me be strong
    • Help me be
    • Help me
  • Speak from your heart. 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 expectancy.

Take a few minutes to notice what effect this time has had upon you.

Notice how the God of expectancy 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.