In following Pam Hawkin’s book, Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent, we have waited with great expectancy for the coming of a Savior, and we have prepared ourselves for His arrival. Now, in this third week of Advent, we “live in faith” that God will indeed deliver on His promise of a Messiah for the world.
Advent is a perfect time to remember and nurture our faith. As we prepare for Christmas Day we are reminded of what the world was like in that time before Christ was born. For generations the Israelites had been promised that God would send a Messiah to save his chosen people, but they had to wait for a long period of time, and in the meantime they experienced repeated threats to their country, their religion, and their way of life. But their faith sustained them until that glorious night when the angels called them to “behold!”
Today, faith is as critical as ever. In a world filled with war and famine, financial crises and violence, it is often hard to remember that God loves us and is here to offer salvation. But faith gets us through the darkness, helps us to see the light, and compels us to share the light with others. That’s what Advent is about: being faithful, and sharing that faith with those who need it most. And such faith is nurtured through prayer.
As a side note, in her book Pam Hawkins highlights one prayer practice for each of the four weeks of Advent. It just so happens that this third week is about prayer beads. This week, participants in The Upper Room’s eRetreat course on Pam’s book will be learning how to make prayer beads using a video that I taped for them. We welcome the eRetreat course participants and others who are being introduced to this wonderful prayer practice.
Cross: In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Invitatory Bead: “The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” (Isaiah 61:1, NIV)
1st Cruciform Bead: Loving God, you are faithful in every way.
1st set of Week Beads: use each bead to consider the ways in which God is faithful to us.
2nd Cruciform Bead: Yet, Lord, there are many people who do not know of your faithfulness.
2nd set of Week Beads: use each bead to think about all of the people who need to hear of God’s faithful love for them. Consider “the poor . . . the brokenhearted . . . and the prisoners of darkness.” (Isaiah 61:1)
3rd Cruciform Bead: Lord, we confess that we have not always been faithful, nor have we shared the good news of your love with those who need it most.
3rd set of Week Beads: use each bead to confess the times when you have not shared God’s love with people in need.
4th Cruciform Bead: Lord, help me to share the good news of your faithfulness with the waiting world.
4th set of Week Beads: use each bead to consider the ways in which you can reveal and share the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ with others.
Invitatory Bead: recite The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray, Amen
Click here for more information about Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent.