Advent 2018 – Day Twenty-Three – With arms wide open
Today’s song is With arms wide open by Creed. Written in response to learning of impending fatherhood.
Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is gonna change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face
One of the highlights of having an expectant wife was feeling each of our children kicking in the womb and small feet and hands pushing against my hand as I rested it on Ros’ tummy. I am not sure the energetic baby gymnastics which often seemed to happen were quite so comfortable for Ros!
Like John we feel our hearts filled with wonder and our souls leap with joy when we come into the presence of Jesus.
We are brought to tears when we hear the promises of Advent and realise that they are all brought to fulfilment in the coming of Jesus into the world and into each of our lives as our Saviour.
Help us to remember those moments when we have touched eternity and given ourselves completely into the love of God.
It is noticeable that in many nativity sets the baby Jesus is depicted with his arms held open and wide. A reflection of both his welcoming openness which draws us to him and of his death on the cross for us.
In a few short days we will come to our Covenant service, where we will once again pledge ourselves into God’s service. We will offer ourselves to be used for or set aside from the work of the Kingdom in the coming year. Help us to hear your word and commit ourselves to follow that word whatever it may call us to. May we always have our arms held wide and welcoming.
Luke 1:39 – 45
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith – – .Tell out my soul.
“…Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!.”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Lord, help us to be so attuned to your love that we will be constantly aware of your presence with us. Amen.
Loving God, help us to remember that your word is always true. May we be so connected to you that we will always find ourselves leadping and dancing in your presence. Help us to spread your words of grace in every area of our lives. Amen.
Lord as we are just a few days away from celebrating your birth help us not to lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the day. Help us to hold onto the things which truly matter, those things which open us to your loving care for the world.
Make us long for those joyful encounters with you. In those moments we once again encounter your true love which changes our lives.
May we have the courage to believe and the faith to be used to accomplish your will. Help us to show to the world the joy with which you fill our lives. Singing, leaping and dancing we share your Good News with everyone around us. Amen.