Initial note: to make the most of these devotionals it is suggested that the disciple does their best to enter into the Scripture as if hearing it for the very first time, as if they are in the presence of the very first hearers. Allow yourself to feel the location, and the message in a sensory manner. In other words live God’s Word. I have found that this approach can move us into what can only be described as a timeless place, where we can truly experience the slowing we seek in God’s presence.
Friday, Day Twenty-six, December 23rd
Dear Lord Jesus, as we enter into these final days of Advent I pray that the slowing You have been bringing upon me comes to rest in inner stillness deep within me, which then allows me to rest in Your glorious presence. Help me to become inwardly still that I may come to know You more intimately, as I ponder Love that has taken up residence in me at the deepest levels of who I am. Lord, help me rest in Your love that casts out all fear, ends all violence and brings all things together in divine wholeness. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen
Read Ephesians 2:7-10 slowly: Do not rush. Savor each word. Listen attentively God’s Word may want to read it several times, with no agenda but to simply hear God’s Word spoken into your heart. Allow the words to reverberate in your mind. Be open and aware of any thoughts and feelings; physically and emotionally without dwelling on them. Let yourself slowdown in God’s presence. Feel the slowing. When you feel fully recollected consider the thought that follows. Finally consider the questions provided. You may be drawn to journal your thoughts as you move through God’s Word. Be open to this direction as it comes upon you.
Thought: As a final thought in our Advent preparation, before our last Saturday reflection, it is important for us to consider what this all means. Our focus has been on “The Slowing” and on inner stillness as we practice God’s presence which enlivens our hearts and calls us into an ever deepening intimate relationship with the Lord as we dramatically and wonderfully encounter Love at the inner most part of who we truly are. However, this encounter must elicit a response. In these verses from Ephesians we see what our response might look like. We are to show the world the riches and kindness of God’s grace toward us in Christ Jesus. We thus reflect God’s grace by being purveyors of grace into a decidedly graceless world. Our works reflect God’s workmanship as those created in Christ Jesus. For this we have been saved by Christ the Lord whom we worship this day.
Questions to consider: How have you experienced “The Slowing” this Advent season? How have you experienced inner stillness this Advent season? How have you experienced God’s presence this Advent season? Do you feel a call to let others know the gift of grace given to you by God through Christ Jesus? If so, what might be your first step?