Baby steps


Markthal, Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

“Baby steps build the
  strongest foundations.”

(Michelle Ward, life coach)

 
 

Call to Worship for [the start of] Advent

[also for the middle of Advent]

 
What will set us journeying in search of the Christ this Advent?
How far are we prepared to go out of our way
to look for the signs of His coming,
and to prepare a path?

How will we travel through this season?
Will we be burdened by responsibilities and tasks,
loaded with others’ expectations, overwhelmed by their needs?
Will we be full of joy or weary of grief?

What will guide our steps in these weeks?
Will we follow a thread of longing,
the hint of an alternative pathway,
the words and music of the gathered community?

Sisters and brothers in Christ, Advent awaits us.
Let us place our feet on the road and begin the journey.
May we find in familiar words, rituals and customs
the birth of the new thing that awaits us.

 
written by Ann Siddall, and posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre and Faith Community website.
 


 
From the blog
See also the series of posts with a journey theme from August 2017.

Nature bringing joy


O rhubarb red!  O joy!

 

For this post I’ve plundered a post from brainpickings.org entitled “Nature and the Serious Business of Joy” featuring quotes by British naturalist and environmental writer Michael McCarthy.

“There can be occasions when we suddenly and involuntarily find ourselves loving the natural world with a startling intensity, in a burst of emotion which we may not fully understand, and the only word that seems to me to be appropriate for this feeling is joy.”

 

“The natural world is not separate from us, it is part of us. It is as much a part of us as our capacity for language; we are bonded to it still, however hard it may be to perceive the union in the tumult of modern urban life. Yet the union can be found, the union of ourselves and nature, in the joy which nature can spark and fire in us.”

 

I commend the whole article to you for more quotes and reflections.
 
Also check out Krista Tippett’s On Being conversation with Michael McCarthy.
 


A prayer

I thank you, O God, for the pleasures you have given me through my senses; for the glory of thunder, for the mystery of music, the singing of birds and the laughter of children. I thank you for the delights of colour, the awe of the sunset, the wild roses in the hedgerows, the smile of friendship. I thank you for the sweetness of flowers and the scent of hay. Truly, O Lord, the earth is full of your riches!

by Edward King (1829-1910) (adapted)

from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #211
 


Digging deeper

 

Wilderness encouragement

 

Three short pieces, by way of encouragement.

#1

God did not say,
“You shall not be tempted;
you shall not be troubled;
you shall not be distressed.”
 
God did say,
“You shall not be overcome.”

 
from the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive and posted on https://re-worship.blogspot.nl

#2

In the darkest night,
in the valley of the shadow of death,
 
even there
we find shadows
bearing witness to the dawn
 
for it is in the pile of fallen leaves
that we find the acorn.

 
from http://www.liturgyoutside.net

#3


(Photo: Irene Bom)
 

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
 
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

 
Isaiah 35:1-2a

 

Seen any crocusses lately?


See also: Theme: Do not lose heart (Prayer sheet)