A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness
November 8, 2022, 12:00 PM

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; 
 make straight paths for him. ~ Mark 1-3.

Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit’s “nudge” to do something?
At first, you might receive an unusual sign or message, and dismiss it as a random occurrence.
The second time it happens, you might say it’s just a coincidence.
But with the third repetition, it’s time to pay attention to where the Spirit is leading you. 

Lately, I keep hearing the word “intention.” Last week I put on a yoga video and the instructor said, “set your
intention and let’s proceed with our practice.” The word “intention” struck me, but I  figured it was a yoga thing
(I’m a yoga novice). I heard it again the next day while watching a movie. Then yesterday morning, I was on
my Peloton bike for an internet spin class and the trainer said, “set your intention for our spin today. “

“What--intention again?” I said to myself. I just want to burn off some calories and get this 
workout over. And there it was. I was about to move through my daily routine without any intention, and felt 
this nudge that it was about my spiritual practices as well. So now, God has my full attention on setting a
spiritual intention for Advent.

Advent concerns preparing a way in our hearts for the birth of the Lord. It’s a time of gatherings, celebrations, 
and turning to God with gratitude for the “babe in the manger” who came to save us all. But too often we say 
prayers, sing hymns, attend a Bible study and Advent services without establishing any spiritual intention for 
the season.

Establishing an intention brings awareness to a quality or virtue we’d like to cultivate for personal growth. It 
just so happens that Advent is a perfect time to ask yourself about the goals of your faith life. How might a 
spiritual intention help you move deeper in love with Jesus to have a calming sense of peace among the holiday 
chaos? What must happen for you to truly experience the hope, peace, joy, and love of God in the Christ Child? 

A few examples might be: living with more of an awareness of God’s presence in the moment (developing spiritual
eyes and ears), becoming more compassionate, or living more in alignment with Jesus through serving 
others. Then the practice part of having an intention is to ask yourself: what would be fun and creative ways to 
work on this?

Even if an answer doesn’t rise right away, sit with the questions; in doing so, you are gently inclining your spirit to
respond to the Holy Spirit’s nudging.
My prayer is for you to develop a spiritual intention for this year’s season of Advent. For me, my intention and 
practice is to further self-awareness and resilience in the daily reading of the Psalms (all that spiritual emotion 
of lament and praise in one book of the Bible). So I invite you to join with me in setting a personal spiritual intention
and practice for the holidays. And perhaps this year’s Advent will be like none other for you; for we never know what
good intentions the Lord has in store for you us… this day, this season, and throughout this life in the Spirit.

Intentionally yours in Christ,

Pastor Becky