What if you are more a verb than a noun.
More an action than a being.
And what if the same is true about Advent
As we begin that journey to Christmas.
Then, maybe instead of Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas
This becomes our wish for ourselves, each other and the world in which we live.
To be peace.
To be hope.
To be light.
To be God with us.
What if, O God…
Pray with your tears.
Pray with your courage.
Pray with your uncertainty.
Pray with your love.
Pray with your anxiousness.
Pray with your dreams.
Pray with your doubts.
Pray with your desire.
Pray with your sorrow.
Pray with your hope.
Pray as you hold your breath.
Pray as you worry.
Pray for those who are ill.
Pray for the helpers.
Pray for those who can no longer embrace loved ones.
Pray as you do.
Pray for the deciders.
Pray with your weakness.
Pray with your strength.
Pray with your heartache.
Pray with your gratitude.
With each breath.
However it is we pray
We use too many words.
With this and that.
Don’t get me wrong.
All of that matters.
Thank you matters.
Help pulls others into the circle of our lives.
Wow stands us face to face with beauty
And the mystery which is more than our small selves.
But with all that said
What really matters is that we listen.
Listen to the beating of our own hearts.
Listen to the rhythm of the world around us.
Listen for the cries of those who find themselves in need.
Listen for the whisper of that which we know and name as God
Reaching out to us
Calling out to us
In the midst of it all.
As I was getting ready for worship this morning, I came across this prayer I wrote some time ago.
It’s words, once again, hit home.
So I decided I would share it again.
Even if we pray with our eyes closed, O God,
Help us to live with our eyes wide open.
Being caught off guard, again, by…
The incredible beauty;
The unquenchable hope;
The deep goodness;
The amazing grace;
Which surrounds us each and every day.
But also to see and to not turn away from…
The deep pain.
And, the very real hatred and fear.
And the faces of those who struggle all day, every day just to survive.
And, somewhere in that incredible swirl of names and faces, may we see ourselves, O God.
Standing there amidst those who find themselves in need of hope and sustenance and forgiveness and grace and standing shoulder to shoulder with those who work each day to make their families and our communities and our world a safer, more equitable, less scary place for us and for all. For all those whose names we know and whose faces we see and whose needs we acknowledge our prayers this day.
May our prayers fly outward into the world You continue to love so much, O God.
And, then, may our lives follow where our prayers first lead.
O God, you call us together
That we might find strength and hope and direction with and from one another.
Then You throw open the doors
And send us out to be Your people and Your presence
In the world You continue to love so much.
Light in the midst of darkness.
Hope in the face of despair.
Compassion where the harshness of life overwhelms.
May we continue to strive to do just that
As we do our best to follow in the way and the spirit of Jesus.