You can let some tension go as you breathe out and imagine you are giving this to God
- Most people are able to enter more fully into prayer if they take a little time to become more still. At the beginning of each day’s prayer then we will suggest a stillness exercise and lead you through it. Perhaps one will work better than others for you, so notice which helps most and perhaps use it subsequently. Today, let’s affirm the wisdom of the body. We often ignore it. If we listen to it, the body can speak to us and reveal something that has been missed by the conscious mind.
- You may be sitting, standing, walking. Notice how you are in your body. Are you warm, cold? Are you comfortable, or not? Relaxed, tense? Pay attention to your feet in contact with the ground, and what they are wearing...work your way from there up to your shoulders, noticing sensations as you go...do the same with your fingers, hands, arms, up to the shoulders...often we carry tension in the shoulders...if you notice any, let some of it go...move to the head and the facial muscles...if there is tension there, let some of it go...around the eyes, the mouth, the jaw...you can let some tension go as you breathe out and imagine you are giving this to God, letting go of it into God. Is there anything your body is wanting to say to you today?
God was delighted with all that had been made through his word
O Come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
We can delve into this by going back to the very beginning: a play on the Creation story and the Fall is therefore the following tale. God was delighted with all that had been made through his word. However, Satan was jealous and schemed to spoil it. Seeing that God’s power lay in the word that came from his mouth, Satan said to God, ‘Let me put a seal on your tongue and tempt this Creation. We shall see how well it fends for itself.’ Strangely God agreed. And Satan got to work, tempting human beings to corruption. The effects of sin inspired by Satan were evident to God’s eternal eye and God turned to Satan and held up one finger. Satan understood that God desired to utter just one word and decided to allow it; after all what could one word do in the face of all the evils that had now been wrought and the habit of sin that so imbued humanity. Besides, Satan looked forward to mocking God’s impotence. Satan removed the seal on God’s tongue and God prepared to speak a single word, and to breathe into that word the totality of his love, and the fullness of all Wisdom. And the word that came from the mouth of God . . . was ‘Jesus’.
We hear now of this Wisdom entering into our world from the Gospel of Luke.
And the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
(Luke 1:26-28, 30b-31)
Talk to God
In the celebration of Christmas we are shown the surprising nature of God’s wisdom
- The wisdom of God is the child born to a young woman in an unimportant town in a weak nation, with corrupt leaders, collaborating with Rome.
- Consider that response of God. And spend a little time with Mary as she receives this news: ‘you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.’
- The state of the world can get us down. We long for God to intervene and inspire clear thinking in the minds of all who make important decisions that affect the lives of billions, especially of the poor. We want them to be wise.
- Take some time to pray for our secular and religious leaders, to pray that they might be open to the wisdom of God.
- In the celebration of Christmas we are shown the surprising nature of God’s wisdom. God’s response to the predicament of the world then and now and always: Jesus.
- What is God showing you through this act of incarnation?
- Christmas is not an escape from a troubled world. It’s a time to look again at how God wants to enter into it. The third verse of the Christmas carol, “O Little town of Bethlehem” goes:
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
- How do you want to respond to this God who enters in?
Lord and Ruler,
Root of Jesse,
Key of David,
King of the Nations,
Emmanuel, Come Jesus.