Week Five: Always a Pilgrim
Here are this week’s Pilgrim Steps: real practices you can do on your own or with friends or family as you continue your journey toward Christmas.
Prayer of Examen
The spiritual practice of Examen gives us a way of noticing where God is showing up (daily) in our lives to the end that we learn to discern God’s involvement within the flow of our day. It also creates a deeper awareness of our God-given holy desires.
Find a quiet moment to reflect on your day or week. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the moment for which you are least grateful. Ask yourself:
o What made that moment difficult? Stay with your feelings; don’t try to change them or make them acceptable…just offer them to God. In the silence, ask yourself – “Where was God in that moment?”
Second, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the moment for which you are most grateful. Ask yourself:
o What made that moment so joyful? Stay with your feelings; don’t try to change them or make them acceptable…just offer them to God. In the silence, ask yourself – “Where was God in that moment?”
Practice Examen often, you may be surprised the perspective it brings to your pilgrimage.
Can you believe Advent is over and Christmas has already come and gone? We have been doing so much these past few weeks with the pilgrimage and though it may feel like the holiday season is coming to a close….the journey is not over! We will be on a pilgrimage our whole lives and so are the people around us.
How can we help those around us as we all journey through life together? It can be really hard to find ways to show people we care, especially in this time of COVID and quarantine. A great way to show people you care is with a card. All you really need is paper and a pencil! You can make it simple and straight to the point with “I’m thinking of you,” or you can get fancy with makers and stickers and add as many details as you want.
This week find time to sit down together, as a family, and make 5 cards each, 1 for each week of Advent. These cards can be for people you know, like your family or your neighbors. You can also make them for people you don’t know and drop them off at the church in Miss Dani’s box. At the end of the week I will take all the cards to the people who need a little extra love at Crista Shores nursing home. Here are some things to talk about while you are making your cards:
· What was the favorite thing you learned during Advent?
· What was the hardest thing for you this Advent season?
· How have you seen God work in your life this past year?
Think about how lonely the person you are making a card for might be feeling. What can you do, say or draw to cheer them up? Make sure to pray about what to share before you begin! Let God be your guide.
I can’t wait to hear all about the cards you made!
Journey into our Community
If there is one thing a pilgrim needs, it is the gift of hospitality. But hospitality is more than having folks over for dinner, it is about being a safe person who offers another the grace, shelter, and presence of Jesus. How might Jesus be inviting you to share what you have to give with another? Maybe what you have is a listening ear. Maybe you can make a double recipe and take it to your neighbor. Maybe you can offer to run an errand for an elderly person, or a young mom, while you are running your own errands. Hospitality during COVID takes some imagination. I wonder if we are not all getting so tired of COVID, that we are losing the energy to be hospitable? Look around, what does Jesus want you to notice?