In this Advent study we will use what can be called “participative” meditation: you become a part of the story in some way. … Christians have used participative meditation for centuries…, especially those who have learned the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, which guide people into experiences of Jesus’ life through the prayerful use of the imagination.
In each session, you’ll have a choice either to be a “fly on the wall” observing the events or to see yourself as a particular person in the story and experience it from that person’s point of view. Let the Spirit guide you. Either way, close your eyes and try to sense what was happening. If you had been there, what would you have seen? Heard? Would you have tasted, touched, or smelled anything?
—Jan Johnson, Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas (Upper Room Books, 2014)
How do you feel about using your imagination to enter a biblical story? Join the conversation.
Then there appeared to [Zechariah] an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. … But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”
—Luke 1:11, 13 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Let us release the cares of our day,
and open our eyes to the wonder of God.
With an attitude of empathy to people of another time,
let us open our hearts and minds to God.
Let us prepare to experience God’s word to us
through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer by Jan Johnson
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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