The Still of Advent

Advent Reflection Story

When disaster strikes a British naval vessel a whistle is sounded called, “The Still.”

The crewmembers know what to do the instant the whistle blows – Be Still!

The Still is the moment to take stock and assess the present situation, thoughts and emotions. The Still is the time to ask the question, “What is the next best thing to do?”

Advent invites us into the stillness of God’s presence. Advent is the moment to take stock, assess our situation, thoughts, feelings, relationship with God, self and others. During this season of extreme busyness, Advent is an invitation into a prayer of inner stillness. In prayer, we discover the next best thing to do, joy in God’s presence and peace to share.

In St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians he prays for the type of Advent and Christmas love for which we all hope, “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the holy ones. Amen”

Next week we begin our, Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer Advent prayer activity. We prepare ourselves this week by spending some quiet time with our God for whom our soul in stillness waits.

Advent Meditation and Hymn

MY SOUL IN STILLNESS WAITS
– Marty Haugen

Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits.

Truly, my hope is in you.

1. Oh Lord of Light, our only hope of glory. Your radiance shines in all who look to you. Come light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

2. Oh Spring of Joy, rain down upon our spirits. Our thirsty hearts are yearning for your Word. Come, make us whole; be comfort to our hearts.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

3. Oh Root of Life, implant your seed within us, and In your advent draw us all to you; Our hope’s reborn, in dying and in rising.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

4. Oh Key of Knowledge, guide us in our pilgrimage. We ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain. Open to us the pathway of your peace.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

5. Come, let us bow before the God who made us. Let every heart be opened to the Lord, For we are all the people of His hand.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

6. Here we shall meet the maker of the heavens, Creator of the mountains and the seas. Lord of the stars, and present to us now.
Refrain: For you oh Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Truly, my hope is in you.

Reflection Activity for Each Day of the First week of Advent

IN STILLNESS

Directions:
Read reflectively the hymn verse for the day (above).
Follow along with the suggestions below.
End each prayer session with the hymn refrain.

Monday: Verse 1

Light a candle. In stillness see the light as a symbol of God’s warmth and love. Invite God to lighten your heart and free you from all shadows.

After a few moments answer the questions:

How is God calling me to radiate light to others? What action will I take?

Tuesday: Verse 2

Fill a bowl or glass with water. In stillness see this as a symbol of God’s healing and refreshment. Invite God to quench the thirst of your mind and heart and fill you with peace.

After a few moments answer the questions:

Who is God inviting me to comfort or encourage? What action will I take?

Wednesday: Verse 3

Look at the roots of a plant in a pot or in the earth. In stillness see the roots as a symbol of God’s Providence. Invite God to fill you with strength and hope rooted in God’s desire to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

After a few moments answer the questions:

Who needs me to be a source of strength or hope for them? What action will I take?

Thursday: Verse 4

Hold your “Prayer Key” in your hand. (See http://stphilip.org/keys-to-the-kingdom/ )

In stillness see the key as a symbol of God’s wisdom. Invite God to open you to the knowledge and guidance you need on your path this day.

After a few moments answer the questions:

Who is locked in a challenging situation that I can help today? What action will I take?

Friday: Verse 5

Sit and open both of your hands, palms up on your lap. In stillness see your hands as a symbol of God’s gift of life to you. Invite God to hold your hand while you thank God for 10 things, people or gifts for which you are grateful – use your fingers to count.

After a few moments – pray for 10 people for whom you give thanks, express your gratitude to at least one of them today.

Saturday: Verse 6

Look at the sky, day or night. In stillness see the sky as a symbol of God’s Glory, eternal presence and personal gift for you. Invite God to fill you with awe and the “WOW” of God’s indwelling Spirit.

After a few moments answer the questions:

What one thing can I do to bring beauty to the life of another person? What action will I take?