The Coming Messiah
Guided Meditations for Advent
HOPE | LOVE | PEACE | JOY
It’s fair to say that most everyone is hungry for more these days—more hope, more love, more peace, more joy. These beautiful gifts can feel elusive and difficult to fully experience amid the stressors of everyday life. In the times we’re experiencing now with a global pandemic, rampant evidence of racism, nature regularly revealing her power to wreak havoc, and deep uncertainty about the future, it can feel all the more challenging to remain rooted and grounded in God’s goodness. As we move toward the end of this year, though, we move toward Advent.
The word Advent means “coming,” and we celebrate and anticipate the arrival of Jesus—Immanuel, “God with us.” During this season, we hear the good news of Jesus’ birth, and we take part in traditions that reflect this story through the gifts we bring, the songs we sing, and the gatherings of friends, family, and faith communities. But how does the coming of Jesus personally speak into our human story in a season like that of 2021?
This eCourse invites you to join author Marsha Crockett in an exploration of the HOPE, LOVE, PEACE, and JOY that the coming of Jesus offers. You’ll be invited into guided times of prayer and quiet reflection—all accessible via mobile device. The guided meditations invite you to look deeper, to linger longer, and to approach boldly the beauty of the coming Messiah.
This eCourse is designed to be simple, easily accessible, and supportive of your daily practice during Advent. You may choose to read or listen to daily meditations, which are read by author Marsha Crockett (each recording is five minutes or less). It is primarily a solo practice, but there will be space for you to share comments with other eCourse participants. You’ll be invited to a reflection and prayer practice each Monday through Friday of Advent. Prayer practices include breath prayer, lectio divina, prayers of imagination, contemplative questions, and others. Each day’s reflection ends with a blessing. Weekends are reserved for a practice of the Examen—a simple exercise of noticing the presence of God.
The Upper Room’s longing for you is that this Advent will be full of the hope, love, peace, and joy that Jesus brings.
It was almost 25 years ago that I first heard about spiritual direction in something I read and immediately it resonated with me as something to pay attention to and research. As happens so often, once I noticed it, it seemed to show up in so many other places and resources, always drawing me to dig deeper. Eventually I knew it was time to find a spiritual director as I was going through several life transitions and challenges.
Since then I’ve never been without a spiritual director. This life-giving practice not only has become part of the rhythm to my spiritual journey, but has opened up so many gifts, epiphanies, comforts, and delights along the way all pointing me to know God as I come to know myself and others more fully.
I recognized early on that spiritual direction was also something I felt called to offer to others, and so I completed a two-year program to become a Certified Spiritual Director in 2013 through the Christian Formation & Direction Ministries (CFDM Arizona).
In addition to walking with others on their spiritual journey, I am also a writer and published author of six books focusing on various aspects of spiritual formation, prayer, and direction. You can see more about my writing and books at the resource link below. My writing also opened the door to opportunities to facilitate and present workshops, retreats, and small group interactions over the years.
I count it my greatest joy to partner with others in these ways and welcome the opportunity to connect with you to explore the pathways of faith formation for you, your church, small group, or ministry gatherings. Reach me via email at [email protected] or via social media by clicking on the icons at the top of this page.