As the year is coming to a close and we end our Advent sermon series here are the reflections from last Sunday’s sermon. It was a conversation around the idea that we are actually given the opportunity to make all things new every moment of the day. That the spirit of God is giving us life with every breath with the hopes that we will experience life to the full. That we, like Jesus would continue to grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and in favor with others. Below is the guided practice we did during our time on Sunday. If you missed it you can click HERE to listen and be guided through this or you can simply read on and do so as you please.
So like last week lets get comfortable. Position yourself in a way the feels restful and relaxing. Open your hands and place them on your lap as a physical expression of openness and receiving. Close your eyes and just quietly for the first minute I just want you to breath with intentionality. Paying attention to the air coming into your body giving you life, moving through you.
AFTER SOME SILENCE…
God – Breathe, breathe on us now
Open your mouth and speak the word that heals our broken life
God say what you will – show us your will as we breathe the very breath of god
Spirit of God here with us now, giving us life again
Breathe on us now
Now keeping your eyes close and your attention on your breathing I want you to ponder some questions. Just listen to them and pay attention to what hits you.
* Are you growing in wisdom? When it comes to everyday life, do you look for creative, innovative solutions, or do you gravitate toward what you’ve always done in the past? What areas of your life have you felt as if you are stagnant? What is keeping you from growing in wisdom?
* As you are breathing focus on your body for a moment. How is your health? How well would you say you are tending to your body? Since your body is a temple or residence for the Holy Spirit how welcome is God in your life? As you think about the idea of helping kids grow what does it look like for your body to have what it needs to grow? What do you need to help you with this?
* How’s your prayer life? Do you find yourself spending more time with God each day? When you pray, do you listen as much as you talk? If the goal is to “Pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), are you closer now than you were before?
How has your prayer life grown over the years? Are you praying more frequently and fervently than ever, or are you recycling the same prayers over and over?
* When it comes to growing in your relationship with God do you use the whole Bible in searching out God’s Word for your life; or do you gravitate to favorite verses and passages and Bible stories with which you’re already familiar? When was the last time you read, studied, and pondered sections of scripture you were not as familiar with? When was the last time you found yourself surprised by God? Are you growing in favor with God?
* When it comes to your relationships with others would you say you are growing in favor with them? Do you share your life with others and allow them to do the same? Do you make space to listen to others and to learn from others and serve others?
How does this come into play at your work, your school, with family, and with neighbors. Are you growing in favor with the people around you?
I just want to end with some scriptures to ponder as we end so just listen and allow these words encourage you today…
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk & not be faint.
Isaiah 42:9 See, the former things have already taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:16 MSG -So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
God You heard the cry of our hearts and You came down
Freely You gave us Your love showing us how to love
God make us an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let us sow love
Where there is darkness let us shine light
And may Your love cause us to open up our hearts
May Your light cause us to shine bright that we bring hope into the dark.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.