ADVENT #1 – GOD WITH US: HOPE THROUGH VULNERABILITY – SERMON RESOURCES
ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP
This week, we spent some time looking at the intersection between forgiveness and hope. Many of us may be walking through The Forgiveness Challenge by Desmond Tutu or reading The Book of Forgiving by Tutu and his daughter Mpho. They outline what they call the Fourfold Path of Forgiveness. The first step on this path is to tell your story. By telling our stories we open ourselves, being willing to be vulnerable and engage our hidden pain, in order to experience freedom and renewed hope.
Take a few moments to quiet yourself before God. Place your body in a relaxed and open posture, possibly opening your hands. As you breathe ask Jesus, who fully embraced our vulnerability and took it upon himself, to reveal to you an area of your heart that you have held back from him. Perhaps this is an old wound, an unacknowledged hurt, a way you have harmed another, or simply an area that has felt too raw and frightening to share. It is best to start slow. Choose something meaningful, but we don’t recommend tackling the most painful event of your life first. If you do find yourself wrestling with a particularly challenging part of your life, we recommend considering the help of a trusted professional. We would be happy to refer you to someone in our area that we trust.
Try, if you can to open your heart just a fraction more than you’d like to, allowing God to meet you in this vulnerable space with love, comfort, and a sense of hope. Now, take some time to write down this story. If you feel prompted and ready, consider sharing this story with a trusted friend, spouse, mentor, spiritual director, or counselor. If you do not have someone in your life that you can take this journey with, please contact the church office, and we would be happy to connect you with someone to engage in this process with you. Even if you are not yet ready to share it with another, consider reading the story aloud and inviting the Holy Spirit to be present with you as you do.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.