AN ADVENT PRAYER

O the power of the Baby! Such power can bring us together to understand we are all God’s children, that it is not about race, it’s about live.
 
O the power of the Baby! Such power can melt the hardest heart. Let this be a Kodak moment reminding us of the impact of seemingly tiny gifts… like crooked ash trays, popsicle crosses, stick figure pictures, wilted dandelions.
 
We are tired of the idols of amusement that sedate us into apathy. We are tired of drowning in information while starving for wisdom. We are tired of floods, quakes, and winds. We cannot take any more death, and destruction.
 
And we are tired of that deep inner sense of fear that we are unwittingly awakening those primeval forces of chaos that we cannot control.

With Judah, we begin a new year sitting in the rubble our sinfulness has made… morally,
emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted to the point of despair… We have fallen into a gap of iniquity that seems to be swallowing all of creation in with it…
 
YET… YET… You are our Father. YET… YET… You are the potter… we are your clay. So we gather around your table reminded that you are present in our suffering. But more than that, we gather around your table – not in fear of scarcity – but in the abundance of Advent hope that…
 
Your light can penetrate the darkness of our despair…Your goodness can overcome the chaos of our evil…Your grace can transform the rubble of our sin…Your life can make all things new.We come around your table of grace as prisoners of hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured out n our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who had been given to us
AMEN!
 

AN ADVENT LAMENT

 
O, God if you would only tear open the heavens and come down! Come and shake us out of our apathy. Come and unite us with your compassion. Come and heal us with your presence.

We have had enough of our rubble. Our rubble is not made of fragmented stones from fallen city walls and a devastated Temple. Our rubble is more subtle, but just as real. It is the rubble of a world turned in upon itself.
 
We are tired, God. We are tired of being at war with our neighbor.
 
We are tired of tyrants who turn citizens into desperate refugees.
 
We are tired of fearing the stranger.
 
We are tired of the continual threat of destruction.
 
We are tired of people misusing their positions of power against others.
 
We are tired of acts of terror – and tired of our failure to imagine any other way to respond than the creation of terror in return.
 
We are tired of how our lusts and the distortion of our desires erode every relationship and destroy the lives of our children.
 
We are tired of greed and the way it forms systems that benefit the few on the backs of
the many.
 
We are tired of our bluster, pride, and arrogance. Our divisive political rhetoric is
pushing us to the point of exhaustion.
 
We are tired of keeping up appearances and expending all our energy for things that will not last.

O the power of the Baby! Take this chip off our shoulder, help us forget the wrong done to us; make disappointment and rejection disappear; melt them like intense sun melts the snow. Take away the isolation of staying inside of ourselves, separated from the world.

O the power of the Baby! Take the anemic joy that we have today and light a fire under it so that we will boil over with unrestrained giving of ourselves!

O the power of the Baby! Make us angels gathering up coworkers, train-workers, house-workers, yard-workers, body-workers, taxi-workers, garbage-workers, factory-workers,
classroom-workers, building-workers, and food-workers to behold the miracle child who can take our spiritual thirst away forever.
 
God, you opened the heavens and sent your Son down. Let us see your Star come from heaven to show us the Way. Let Mary’s Little Baby lead us. Let the mountains quake in His presence and the persistent, impatient car horns fall silent in adoration. Show us your Son through the clouds of our confusion and desperation and exhaustion. Let us
experience His power.

O God, who works for those who wait on you, we’re waiting. There are days when we think
we’ve just missed the train to get us where we need to go, or missed the opportunity to right a wrong. But God, keep us waiting on Jesus, the one who will make it right.
Amen.