See below for General Instructions
Read these chapters paying attention to what you see in the relationship between God and people. As you read this account of creation, what stands out to you about the character of God? About human nature? About God’s relationship with people? Since people know good and evil, God’s presence in our lives becomes very important. How do you find God’s presence in your daily life? Choose one of the centering prayers on pages 24-25 of the Near resource booklet, to help you begin a time of solitude today. Choose a different prayer each day this week.
The prophet Isaiah is called to announce God’s coming to a people who are suffering. What does he communicate about God and his relationship to people? If you were to cry out to those suffering, what would you cry? How would you reassure people of God’s presence in the present moment? Reflect on the last two quotes on page 31 of the Near Resource booklet, by Johannes B. Metz (from Poverty of Spirit).
The psalmist reminds us of our sin and the need for confession. As you prepare for God’s coming this Advent, what sins do we need God to forgive? Personally? Communally? As a nation? In the church? Pray the traditional prayer of confession from the Book of Common Prayer (page 13 in the Near resource booklet) to lead you in a time of confession. What assurance of God’s love and presence do you hear in Psalm85:8-13?
As you read verse 11, what kind of life ought you to be living in response to God’s promise of love, faithfulness, presence in your life? How do you wait? What discipline could you add to your daily life to increase your patience? Sing or pray the Irish hymn in the Near resource booklet on page 22, “Be Thou My Vision.”
How does one prepare the way of the Lord in 2020? How can the church prepare the way of the Lord in 2021? How are you a messenger of God’s coming? Write down your thoughts about being a messenger and read the Serenity Prayer on page 14 in the Near resource booklet.