Saturday, December 18, 2010

a prayer: reflecting on God's love in the midst of the Christmas rush (4th Advent Sunday)

It is easy to loose the focus of Christmas in our Western worlds desire to celebrate and consume at this festive time. Commercial pressure coming out of a recession, means the push to sell us more stuff we don't need and express our 'love' for others with presents, While the cost of living for the average person just keep rising. In New Zealand at least there is the drive to head off straight after Christmas for the summer holidays (great) but it does ramp up the pressure beforehand.  Anyway here is the prayer I'm using in a service I'm taking at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Symonds Street. It's the fourth Sunday in Advent so the focus is Love . I've used John 1:1-18 as a starting point to again focus on what Jesus has done for us. The challenge is also to not only express that in prayer but live in a way that reflects that love.

When I write prayers I try and think in terms of poetry (lines, rhythms etc) but this one sort of just came out more prose than poetic, but heart felt.

Well God , Christmas must be close

The pace seems to be quickening and there is so much more to be done

Our mail boxes groan under the weight of all those flash catalogues trying to sell us something

There is a definite edge about making sure we get to that car park first

We’ve got to work out whose place were going to on the day

And book in summer holidays

Yet in the midst of that God we want to stop and give thanks to you

Christmas is about you and your love for us

It’s about you and Your love for us

It’s beyond our ability to comprehend

A mystery in the true sense of the word

That while we were yet sinners in Jesus Christ you stepped into our world

You pitched your tent in our neighbourhood

You came as a light in the dark

The word become flesh

So that all who believe in you would be given the right to become children of the most high God

WE beheld you as grace and truth came in your son Jesus.

We give you thanks

It’s about you and Your love for us

You became one of us and experienced what we experience

You were known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief

We know that you celebrated the good things in lives like a wedding at Canna and good friends and festivals

We know you healed the sick and cared for the poor spoke for justice and proclaimed good news that through you the kingdom of God was coming near

And there it is like a shadow over the Christmas narrative the sword that Anna saw would pierce Mary’s heart

That you gave you life on the cross so our sins could be forgiven

We thank you

It’s about You and Your love for us

We can know new life because Christ was raised from the dead and is alive

New life because you have sent your spirit to dwell with us

Not just in our neighbourhood but filling us making us more like Jesus

New life because you have given us a new family you church in the world full of brothers and sisters fathers and mothers in Christ.

New life because the old has gone and the new has come

New life because you have forgiven us and wiped the slate clean

New life because you call us to follow you and witness to your great love

We Thank you

Seeing your mercy and grace

We come today and confess our sins

Forgive us for losing sight of you in the midst of this Christmas rush and even in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives

Help us to fix our eyes on you, the author and perfecter of our faith

Forgive us for living graceless lives when we have received such grace from you

Help us to love and forgive, serve and love as you have and do

Forgive us that we have left undone all the good you call us to do

Forgive us lord we are sorry

There it is again the hope and good news that came at Christmas

That through Christ if we confess our sins you are faithful and just and forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Today and this Christmas season may we capture afresh a vision of your great love and your son Jesus Christ

May we be filled a fresh with your spirit to be Christmas people

Seeing Jesus break into our world through our words and deeds

Allowing your grace and love your justice to be our pursuit

To the glory of God Father, Son and Spirit

No comments:

Post a Comment