If possible, in a quiet, dark space, light either a real or an imaginative candle beside the glow of your digital screen and remember the people who have waited, and are waiting, all around the world in the dim glow of flickering light and perhaps flickering hope. If possible, read aloud and slowly pray as we wait and prepare together.
Advent is a season to remind us that
we are waiting
not for Christmas treats and programs,
not for lights and parties,
not even for giving and receiving gifts;
but we are waiting for the
We are not alone as we wait;
we are not the first,
we are not the last.
We live in between
the first creation and the renewed creation
with no control over when or how,
but with the stark realization that
we need this
We can’t make this event happen
any more than we made creation happen.
But we are a busy people
and most days our frantic waiting
drowns out the echo of our cries from deep within,
“Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” (Psalm 51:8)
During this season of Advent we pause,
or at least try to,
and with an eye on Psalm 51,
we cry out to the
One who is preparing us
Lord, have mercy.
Forgiver, blot out what we’ve done against you.
Purifier, wash away all our injustices.
Shining light, cleanse us from sin.
Wisdom, teach us.
Singing One, let us hear joy and gladness.
Healer, let our crushed bones rejoice.
God who sees, hide your face from our sins.
Grand artist, blot out all our iniquity.
Giver of new hearts, create in us a pure heart.
Faithful One, renew a steadfast spirit within us.
God who never lets go, don’t cast us away.
God-with-us, don’t withhold your Holy Spirit.
Eternal gladness, restore the joy of your salvation.
Suffering servant, grant us a willing spirit.
God almighty, save us.
Speaking One, open our lips.
Prepare us well, oh God, and in your time,
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Thank you Shirley! “Come thou long expected Jesus!”