ABIDE resources for 18-19 November

Allow yourself time for this moment with God

Make it special. Will you make a cup of tea? Do you want to sit in a special place? Will you light a candle? Take five deep breaths. Check-in with how you are feeling – in body, in mind, in spirit. Take five more deep breaths and ask God to abide with you in this moment.

Bible reading for today

verses from Hosea 11:1-9

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all.  How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.

Imagine this

Make a (mental) note of five different times that you have felt constrained, held back or tied down.

Choose one of those episodes to recall in as much detail as you can.
What happened?
What did you see and hear and feel and think?
How might God have been present in that experience?

The tender and ancient image hidden in the Bible reading is of a child with a bands and a cord that was attached to a tent peg to keep the youngster out of the fire pit.

Does this offer you any new thoughts about the experiences you have had of being held back, tied down?

Do the Bible reading again

Take some time to read the Bible passage again, slowly (and out loud if you can). What word or phrase stands out as important? You might like to say it gently in your heart a few times to allow it to sink in even deeper.

Enjoy a chat with God

Talk with God about the word or phrase that stood out for you as you looked again at the Bible reading. You might like to think about what you want to say to him (and maybe to others) in terms PLEASE, THANK YOU and SORRY. Take time to savour the Lord’s Prayer with him.

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