These photographs represent the first week of our Advent Photography Challenge – where is God in these photographs? Where is the anticipation of Advent? What words do they make you think of?
The Examen Prayer is an ancient way of meditating on the day or week that is past, and nurturing an attitude of gratitude for the blessings that God has granted, as well as acknowledging those people or situations that weigh heavily on our hearts.
I invite you to find a comfortable place to sit, and move inwards with your breath. Ask God that you would feel that constant peaceful presence of God-with-us as you breathe in the Holy Spirit and breathe out anything causing you anxiety. Focus on your breaths for a few moments, and remain present in the sacredness or holiness of right ‘now’….
Move on to remember before God any moments which you feel grateful this week; an unexpected phone call from someone, a smile from a neighbour, a letter, someone’s gratitude to you after you had helped ease their burden in some way…even the stillness, calm, rest of this moment.
From this place of gratitude, replay before God your week, noticing those people or situations that weigh heavily on your heart. Pay particular attention to those, and hold them out in your hands before God in your minds eye. Allow yourself to ponder, ‘what is it about this person/situation which particularly concerns me?’ Again, in your minds eye, letting God know exactly what it is that concerns you, put the person/situation into God’s hands, watching as God tenderly holds them….
Go back over the week, asking that God draw your attention to those times or situations where you harbour a sense of regret or remorse for how you responded or handled things…ask for God’s forgiveness and mercy….
Finally, allow yourself to think over the coming week before God, pondering on what you expect to be coming up, or what you are worried about as it approaches. Trusting that God is always with you, ask for God’s guidance and peace in the coming week. Know that with God:
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”Julian of Norwich
Finish your time of prayer with these or other familiar words:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.
#312 When you’re #hungry and there is nothing to eat, except for a few crumbs; it can leave you feeing like something is missing or lacking…like there is a gap that needs filling. Usually this happens fairly swiftly after a visit to the supermarket, but what if it is night time and all of the shops are shut? You would have to go to bed with that feeling of #emptiness. This weekend has left me feeling empty…the knowledge that some really good friends are no longer there, won’t turn up to Morning Prayer on Monday and won’t be in breakfast, has left me feeling somewhat bereft. It’s hard to sit with that feeling, but I #trust that where God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window!!
#85 Today I was elected President of the Common Room at theological college and this staff represents the authority and responsibility that goes with that role. It is incredibly #humbling to think that my fellow ordinands have put their #trust in me to represent them and advocate for them. The #responsibility that people put in our hands can be incredible. We need to face it with confidence, sensitivity and, as I have pledged #dojustlylovemercywalkhumbly with them! (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)
#23 信 (shin) means believe and is also used to express faith, trust and sincerity. Jesus told his followers “do not fear, only believe”. These words struck me as simple and yet so difficult to put into practice. Naturally I seem to see the potential problems, or worry about what could happen rather than just believing that all will be well. The Kanji character and its further meaning made me think of the sincerity of Jesus – we can absolutely trust and believe!
#believe #trust #sincerity #shin
#5 This is solidarity and sisterhood! In the face of adversity with packing and moving of furniture, these two are pulling together in a way that is quite uncharacteristic. Perhaps they are bonded in their dissatisfaction with this unsettling period, or maybe they are clinging to each other for strength and reassurance. It made me think about who, or what, I cling to…and acknowledge that I should be trusting and clinging to God more than I do!
#solidarity #sisterhood #trust