I rarely do this much any more. But it's Christmastime...(well, Advent, to be exact :) ) ....and I think that is reason enough to share a little here and there. So here is a prayer that I wrote for this last Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent...a prayer for hope.
Hope excites us, O God. The hope of a new day. The hope of a fresh start. The hope of a smile, or a hug, a text message, the laughter of children. Hope that things will get better. Hope that we will reach the dreams of our hearts. Hope that we will see a light – if ever so dimly – at the end of a long, dark, cold tunnel.
Hope tugs. It warms and kindles until the very moment we think we are stuck in this one place forever – hope sits down beside us and whispers in our ear….
And on our best days, and maybe even our worst, we will come to find ... that hope is you, O Holy God. You are the one who tugs, nudges, warms and kindles the life that lives within us. You never let us go; it is we who lose our grip. Forgive us.
As we step, ever so gently – or ever so anxiously – into this Advent season – guide us into your hope. Open the map and point us in the right direction. For if we are honest we will confess that we have hopes – many hopes – for ourselves, for our own lives, for the person we want to be and for the life we wish to live. Will we trust you?
And because we are people who live in community with one another – we have hopes for the greater world – from our tightknit circles to the good of all humanity. We want the very best for the people you have created. We have hope that violence and war and hate and greed cannot and will not be the final word. We have hope that we will see kingdom come in our own day! In the here and now! We have to have hope. We have to cling to it.
Lord, we wonder – do we have what it takes to wait for Christ’s coming? Christ as a newborn child breaking into our world with hearty cries and bright eyes? Christ as "God with us" breaking into our world with a message that disrupts our status quo and turns over the tables of power? Do we have what it takes?
O Lord, tug upon our hearts today…. hold tightly to the string that opens the doors of our hearts to receive the gift that waits to be given.