Thursday, December 14, 2017

Advent Prayer... for those on the go...

Have you ever noticed how images of advent candles are in peaceful settings? They are designed to look like they are in the quite country church or vast city cathedral at a midnight Christmas eve service... But Advent just does not seem like that. It's busy and rushed and its near the end of the year and life just seems to try and squeeze it out... even church life... This is simply an advent prayer... I started it last year and didn't have the time or energy to finish it, but I've finished it for our  'Carols, colouring in and Christmas cake' all age worship event.  It doesn't fit probably into a Church that is following through the themes of advent each week. It's sort of an advent prayer for those on the go... in the midst of a busy schedule at the end of a long year and maybe its like we are just squeezing it in. Maybe its a fight back against those things... anyway feel free to use it as your prayer or any parts of it that you find helpful. 

Sometimes it’s easy to pray LORD,

And sometimes it’s not

Sometimes our words flow like a rushing stream

Our hearts full of wonder and thanks for your great love

Sometimes it’s as if the well has dried up and there are no words

We are tired, caught in the seasonal rush, its been a long hard year

But when we turn and contemplate advent there are words

There is… Hope…Peace…Joy…and Love

Faithful God, who keeps his promises

Our hope is in you, the one who sent his only son

 Beyond our circumstance and sight, and the deep darkness of night

The light of your truth and grace has dawned in this world

‘Redemption rips through the surface of time in the cry of a tiny babe’*

In Jesus, the word made flesh, your kingdom has been established

In Christ’s life, death and resurrection, sin and death and defeated

In Spirit led love and service, God’s kingdom breaks into our world today

Prince of Peace,

In the strife within us, our brokenness and pain

Amidst the conflict that rages around us in the world

You have come to bring healing and wholeness

In Jesus Christ, you have enabled our sins to be forgiven

You call us to be one in you and love as you have loved us

You commission us to share in your ministry of reconciliation

And you send us out to be your peace makers in this world

Lord our God, who rejoices over us with singing

We find our deepest joy in who you are and what you have done

You made us for relationship with you, to know and be known

While we had turned our back on you, you reached out to us

When we turn back, you run to embrace, and heaven parties hard

You’ve poured your spirit out on us and are with us to the end.

We can have joy even in the face of sorrow, injustice and death,

Because you have overcome them and they are defeated

Father God who loves us so much

We know what love is because you first loved us

That love came as near as a baby’s hand gripping a finger

It was shown in Jesus hands reaching out to touch and heal

 hands that blessed children, and welcomed outcast

In hands nailed to a cross, for our sake, for our forgiveness

In hands examined for nail scars, raised to life again

A love that will not let us go, and calls us to go and love

Holy God, gracious saviour,

Thank you for hope… peace… joy… and love

This Christmas, O Lord, may we know the reality of them in our lives

We confess we have done wrong and left good you call us to do undone

We pray you would forgive and restore a right spirit in us

We thank you that you are faithful and just and we are forgiven

Fill us afresh with your spirit, to know you more and make Christ known

That in our hope, peace, joy and Love we may bring you glory.

* this line is from  Canadian folk singer Bruce Cockburn's song 'The Cry of a Tiny Babe' off the 1991 album 'Nothing but a Shining Light'... it is one of the most poetic and powerful reflections on Christmas and I have to admit I find it hard not to include it every Christmas somehow... 

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