A Prayer for Advent

posted December 23, 2004

Oh God,

We are coming through this period of Advent, this period of waiting, of traffic at the mall, credit cards posed; overwhelmed with the love we have for our friends and families, yet still feeling everything we have to give is inadequate.

Even in the midst of our loving family we can feel alone. We miss the ones who are not here, wondering how Christmas can still be Christmas without them, We wonder how we will make it through the trials ahead’: January and February loom long, dark and cold.

But along with the fear, there is a branch of hope. We are incurably wounded and grieving, our heads in our hands, yet still peering through our fingers at the late rising sun on an unimaginably cold morning.

And then, quite unexpectedly, we hear the birthday songs of the new baby, this child whom we approach with tenderness and wonder. We see our own children light up with simple joy, and we remember what it’s like to be light again. We feel the stirring of green shoots in our own hearts, straining toward the faint light of a candle, the rose gold beams of the dawning sun. And we thank you for the fact that no victories are ever won except by this slow tender growth, this steady sun, your immutable gaze, your compassionate forgiveness, daily bread. And we see that you have patiently waited for us all our lives.

So today, we will wait for you.


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  1. And we see that you have patiently waited for us all our lives.Last night, unable to sleep, I read the collected Books of Narnia. I came home to this.

    These two things comfort me, today.

  2. The peace, love and light that child brought into this world live on in all of us. We continue it, faltering and falling along the way, but reminded each year at this time that we can make it, we can love and shine in peace…together.

    thanks, n…merry christmas!
    love, kris

  3. Did I tell you that people have been asking me a bunch about Unitarians and why or what we celebrate at Christmas? A friend of mine got so tired of the question this year, that he preached about it at school. I loved what he said–he preached about how this is a holiday about the birth of a child and the wonderful potential that exists when a child is born, any child. And that this particular child came with a message that, whatever you think about the sitatuion and events of his death, had more potential that most and realized that potential while he lived. And perhaps managed to carry childlike wonder throughout life.

    We have a reading in our hymnal by Sophia Lyons Fahs about how every night that a child is born is a holy night. And it makes me remember that once I was a child born on a night that was holy for my parents, and that everyone was once a child born on a holy night. And somehow that makes me more willing to fertilize that tender growth, or see the potential of compassionate forgiveness.

  4. A beautiful, thoughtful prayer, filled with the love, fear and frustration that I think is all-but Universal with those of us in this culture — even if our “credit cards [are] posed” and not poised.

    I wish for us all the Peace that God offers at this time of year and throughout our lives.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.

  5. Solstice 2004

    Chase away the doubt of darkness

    Ring the bell and call the new day,

    Toast the coming expected sunshine

    Feast on nature’s grand display.

    Anticipate the light’s new dawning

    Send the gloom and cold away

    Be with friends in celebration

    Starting now the brighter day.

    Happy Holidays,
    Paul S.

  6. The Winter days are not as cold, not with the warm memories of you singing to me Nerissa, and Katryna. I’ve been watching the sunrise too, from the woods. It is beautiful, like a new life being born is the dawning.
    Love you. Merry Christmas. MOWHAWK MAN

  7. Im reminded of my tiem in the cold and frozen land and my thoughts turn to a song by gordon bok. “the world is always turning toward the morning.” a nice warm thought to hold you till spring or mud season as it is known up there.


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