For the past several years, I have been offering an occasional series in the parish called the 30-Minute School of Prayer. This is the fifth post in the series. I will reflect on occasion about one particular aspect of prayer. There is no one place to begin nor is there a particular sequence of reflections that must be read in order. I simply invite you to rest in God as you have come to experience God. I invite you to reflect on practical matters and issues or ideas from the gospels. Take time to reflect on the text here then be still, calm your life and be quiet for 20- 30 minutes. So we begin.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John…..” Luke 1:5-25
We all hold much fear in our bodies. We carry with us the burdens of past hurts and the affects of many disappointments. Our bodies ache with worry about tomorrow as we face the uncertain questions of today. Fear makes a home in our bodies and may rob us of seeing beauty or hearing the concerns of others. Fear may also be the birth place of God’s new life for us.
The promise of Emmanuel, God-with-us is tender and beautiful. Today, we hear from Luke’s Gospel that Elizabeth and Zechariah will give birth to John even in Elizabeth’s old age. The angel appears to speak of something greater than fear.
As this Advent journey comes to a close, our hearts, our bodies and our prayer become the place where God speaks and consoles. Our fear can be transformed in prayer. Our concerns can become a place where God consoles us, our attitudes, our failures and our hidden dreams. We all ache for new life. Allow God to receive your fear so love may be born within you.
Jesus, receive my fear so that…
Jesus, receive my tense body so that…
Jesus, be born in my fear so that…
So now I invite you into silence. Offer to God what you have, even if all you have is hopelessness.
Let us begin.