Meditation for Advent Sunday

This offers about half an hour of focussed  prayer and reflection to help you mark Advent 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. 

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.

Do use the ‘Reply’ section at the bottom if you would like to share anything that has emerged for you from this meditation. 

Nick Helm

List of Meditations
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Settle into this time for prayer and reflection 

get comfortable in your seat

taking a few deep breaths to relax and become more still

let yourself become aware of God’s presence to you in this moment

be aware of God’s welcome to you – God calling you by God’s name for you

respond to God with your name for God 

Play the video below – the Taize chant ‘Wait for the Lord’

Ask God to help you to be open and engaged through this time.

Also for help in marking this season of Advent – for your ability to wait in God and to know more of God’s hope.

Maria Boulding in this piece articulates something of the challenges of waiting. Written before anyone imagined such things as covid lockdowns, there are some further examples of the challenge of waiting that this has brought – the uncertainties, the not knowings, the frustrations of being unable to do ‘normal’ things, to have normal unmasked close contacts with people without the unease of am I keeping appropriate distance, are they, the awkward uncertainty of how to show concern, care, love, or just simple friendliness.

Notice what ‘waiting’ means for you (for good or ill) as you reflect on this and these words:

Advent is the concentration of waiting in our lives.
Human life is full of waiting:
People wait for trains, buses and planes;
They stand in queues in shops;
They sit nervously in dentist’s waiting rooms;
They wait in anguish for news of lost loved ones
They wait for the slow process of healing,
They wait for the birth of a child.

Waiting can be very different in these situations
According to our attitude.
In an age of ‘instant’ products
Any delay is viewed as negative.
Yet some things cannot be skimped or hurried,
We have to give them the time they need
You cannot make the grass grow by pulling it!

Faith can demand long patient waiting
When nothing seems to be happening
Sometimes we have to go on doing
The small ordinary things as we wait for God,
As Mary did while she waited for Jesus birth.
We have to wait for God’s moment
For God’s work to ripen in us.
The waiting changes us, schools us…
Teaches us to know God.

(From ‘the coming of God’ by Maria Boulding)

You may find it helpful to jot down for yourself any awarenesses that have emerged – of emotions stirred in you by waiting, of situations of waiting you are living with, of what faithful waiting means for you

Read this passage of Jesus speaking of what we know as the Second Coming – ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory’

Jesus calls his disciples to be aware, to keep alert, to keep awake, implicitly understanding how humanly difficult waiting can be, and how we can nod off, be distracted, seek distraction. Alongside this challenge, he offers a hope to focus on – a glory to come

Not being alert, nodding off, being distracted, seeking distraction doesn’t just apply to our hope in God, we tend to these ways in many aspects of life.

Martyn Joseph, welsh folk/rock singer songwriter, whose writing is undergirded by his Christian faith articulates the need to wake up – in this song, a prayer to be alert ‘my soul’s asleep, now wake me up’.

Take a few moments to reflect on this, jot what emerges down, and make your own prayer for ‘awareness’.

Read this vision of a ‘New Heaven and a New Earth’ from Revelation.

Notice anything about this vision that brings you hope, life, joy.

What in this new heaven and new earth do you find your self hoping for?

What in your life needs to be kept awake to this vision? What gets in the way, clouding it?

Take time talking to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit about the things that have emerged. 

Ask for things you need …

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 believe

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

Notice how the God of Hope is with you. 

3 thoughts on “Advent Sunday

  1. Thankyou for this Nick.
    Surprised by joy – the joy of hearing the music – taking me back to large gatherings over the years at Swanwick at Hinsley Hall, in Jerusalem…… I heard the world waiting – patiently, together.
    Then the painting of Abram’s Departure by Bassano – I was one tiny member of the vast household, waiting – as God speaks and Abram listens……
    Thankyou

  2. As I continue trying to “stay awake”, waiting expectantly and patiently for a new expression of God’s incarnation in my life in this special 2020 Covid
    Advent, I am reminded of that passage from St. James:
    ” Now be patient,……until the Lord’s coming.
    Think of a farmer: how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground until it has the autumn rains and the spring rains. you too must be patient…..do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon.” James 5: 7 -8

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