Intrusion | Thursday, December 20
Scripture: Luke 1:68-79
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Spiritual Practice: Prayer of Examen
As he witnessed the birth of his son, Zechariah was able to see the Kingdom of God on the horizon, ready to break into our world. Sometimes it is in the big moments where we see God’s purposes most clearly, but often the Kingdom infiltrates our world in a thousand silent ways.
For hundreds of years, men and women have used the “Prayer of Examen” as a means of attending to the details of their day, in order to see where God’s movement is present in the ordinary circumstances of life. The Examen (also known as the “examination of consciousness”) is a spiritual practice through which the Spirit helps us to take a closer look into our mental state, our physical responses, and the emotional baggage we carry into our interactions, in order to see where God has been present and leading.
Every aspect of the universe bears the marks of the Creator. We believe that God speaks to us clearly through scripture—the Prayer of Examen asks us to consider that God is present in and speaking through the ordinary proceedings of business meetings, classes, service projects, relationships, meals, or conflicts. For your journal reflections today, find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Start by taking a deep breath and letting your body relax. Don’t be in a hurry to write your responses.
• For which moment in my day am I most grateful? For which moment am I least grateful? (With children, try this approach: “What were your highs and lows of the day?”)
• When in your day did you give and/or receive the most love? When did you give and/or receive the least love?
• When did you experience joy? Which aspect of your day was most depleting?
• Which aspect of your day drew you into an awareness of the Kingdom of God? Which aspect seemed furthest from the Kingdom of God?
Prayer for the Day:
Gracious Father, you have brought me safely to this new day. Watch over me and preserve me with your power, that I might not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity. Help me to find joy through seeing goodness in the ordinary activities of my day, that my life might bring you Glory; through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.