Joyful Anticipation Deepens

by Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

Joyful anticipation deepens.
This waiting is expectant.
This yearning pounds with possibility.
Joyful anticipation deepens.

The Holy is present,
The sacred right alongside us.
Though there is no clarity, there is certainty.
Joyful anticipation deepens.

Even when our sighs are wordless,
Even when our groans are aching,
Even when we cannot pray,
Joyful anticipation deepens.

And the longer we wait,
The more joyful our expectance.
We are enlarged by the waiting,
And our joyful anticipation deepens.

Spiritual Practice- Praying with Scripture
Today’s reflection was inspired by a time of prayer with the scripture text below. Read through the text several times slowly and prayerfully. Pause between readings to dwell in silent attention to the presence of God speaking to you through these words. Notice what captures your attention, or where you feel drawn to explore. What is God’s invitation to you this Advent season through this text?

Romans 8:21-28, MSG
Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

2 Spiritual Retreat Opportunities in 2016. Registration is now open! 

Deep Hunger Deep Thrist - small[2]

Spiritual Retreat at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri. Click the image above for more information.

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Spiritual Retreat at the Spiritual Formation Center in Kirtland, OH. Click the image above for more information.

 

 

 

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