Advent Book Club Day 4

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?…32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:25,32-33

Today’s thought is about how we pray. Do we take the day’s Gospel and spend ten minutes with it, allowing it to move from mind to heart? Or do we rush through – taking it in superficially and not letting it speak to us properly?

20121204-230954.jpgI thought I might try this. What did I learn? Well, firstly that you need peace and quiet to do this. My skills at zoning out from the world around for #trainprayer are pretty good, with something “to do”. Today I was lucky, being off sick, which meant I could actually in peace and quiet think about the text – with hustle and bustle around it’s hard not to let my mind wander if I’m not reading something new. But wait, pause, read again, and slowly I start to get more out of the text.

This exercise reminded me of the Ignatian session in a “how to pray” course run a couple of Lents ago by the Revd Anna Matthews, when her friend the Revd Rachel Jenkinson came to teach us about the Daily Examen. It’s not something I’ve found myself with the time to do with a short-ish train commute frequently filled with work, hectic work and a young son. But maybe once a week in a lunchtime it could be a valuable addition to my spiritual life? Watch this space…

Today’s task is to find a scriptural Advent motto to cherish each day. Having confessed to struggling with St Paul a few days ago, I think it needs to be from St Paul to see if I can get closer to understanding what he is driving at. I’ve chosen Romans 8:31 “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” God’s promise of his Son to us, coming down to earth to the the form of a child for the spores of eventually dying to redeem us, is more than evidence enough for me that God is for us.