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12.11.16 Advent: Hope for new beginnings

By December 12, 2016Reflections

curtisLast night our gathering was once again blanketed in both snow and the presence of God. We opened with an antiphonal reading of the Magnificat, and continued to sing and reflect upon the glorious revelation of God with us.

Curtis followed Jerusalem’s invitation to identify with the longing of Advent with a call to hope. Every one of us has an innate longing for new beginnings, but so often they seem out of reach. Advent is a season in which we come face to face with the reality that our hope is fulfilled in God’s presence. We remember “our Holy God is intimately acquainted with our sinful, broken pieces.”

mary-comforts-eveOur practice for the evening was a visio divina on this painting. We soaked in the image and put ourselves in Eve’s place asking what new beginning we long for this Advent. Then, we turned to the Christ candle and brought our hope to God, who is closer than the air we breathe.

If you were unable to make it last night I hope you will find time to listen to the podcast and Curtis’s beautiful invitation to bring our hope for new beginnings to Emmanuel, God with us.

Our first Kingdom Practices is to continue the prayer we began last night. Let’s keep bringing our hope for new beginnings to Jesus this Christmas season. You may even light a candle, turn down the lights, and rest in God’s holy presence. Our second practice is to continue with the Advent garland Jerusalem brought us last week. If you did not get a kit, you can download a copy of the instructions here.

Two final notes as we close out 2016 with The Practice.

Last night the second ever Practice Survey was emailed. We would love it if you would take 15 minutes to complete the survey here. Your responses will help us better understand who we are as a community, how we fit in the larger Willow discipleship ministry, and how we as The Practice Team can better serve you. I promise we will personally read every single response.

Finally, I am really excited about our plans for 2017. We are going to begin the year exploring and developing a personal rhythm of life, a way of arranging our lives to walk and work with Jesus and learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I can’t wait to join you in that journey with you.

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Grace and peace,
Jason and The Practice Team

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