Messengers of Joy
Welcome to our Advent Retreat for 2017.
Welcome to our Advent Retreat for 2017 in collaboration with Sacred Space. This retreat offers an opportunity to take time out from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and create some silence and stillness to reflect prayerfully, and meditate on some 'good news' moments in the Christmas story, using Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke.
From 27 November, the Introduction to the retreat will be available in audio form here, with a read-along version on Sacred Space also. A new session of the retreat will be available in text and audio format each week in the Advent season. The retreat offers some practical suggestions about how to create an inner space of attentiveness so that the Spirit of God can work in us in the period leading up to Christmas, in the hope that we will learn how to become Messengers of Joy.
Please Note: We release sessions once a week (see dates provided below).
Session 1: A Foretelling of Joy
The prophets daydreamed and talked about the coming of the Messiah. Looking forward gave them great enjoyment. And it’s the same for us. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit and seeing how we can bring the joy of Jesus’ coming, into the lives of others.
Session 2: An Announcement of Joy
The angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah with a message of joy, announcing that many would rejoice at the birth of John the Baptist, the one who would prepare the way for the Lord. Zechariah’s prayer had been heard. He knew he would have a child, John the Baptist, who would announce the Saviour and prepare His way by ‘turning people to God’.
Session 3: A Meeting of Joy
In this session, we focus on the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. The first words of Elizabeth to Mary were to bless her and to give thanks to God. She acknowledged Mary's faith, how she heard the Word of God and believed it. Their shared prayer encouraged them both to believe that all that was promised would be fulfilled. What do you imagine this to be like?
Session 4: An Arrival of Joy
In this final session of our Advent Retreat, we reflect on the appearance of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds. They were told the remarkable news that they would find the Saviour, Christ the Lord, lying in a manger. The Nativity scene invites us to marvel at the love God shows for us through the birth and life of Jesus.
This concluding session of the Sacred Space/Pray as you go Advent retreat invites us to reflect on the way we have we have waited in anticipation for the coming of Christ. We have been inspired by the words of Isaiah and the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary. Jesus, God made man, who was born in such simple surroundings, desires to come into the most ordinary events of our daily life. This is the true message of Christmas: that Emmanuel – God with us – comes to us in the depths of our hearts and invites us to meet Him there. As we end the retreat, we look towards how we can continue all that we've learnt over these weeks, and become Messengers of Joy for the good news of Christ.