Persistently Entering-in God, come to us anew this Advent season. We long for a light that will show us the way of peace and justice in our world. In the busyness of our living, remind us that you came into this world in a very ordinary way – amidst the chaos, the crowds, the joys, the sorrows, the yearnings and desires. And you come to us now, no matter where we are, inviting us to enter into a life of your abundance. Our desire is to come to you; touch us with your refining fire that we might be pleasing to you.
God of Promise, as much as we long to be a people of hope, peace, joy, and love, we often lose ourselves in despair, distress, complacency, and loneliness. The world is often an overwhelming place. Hear us as we lift up to you all the broken places in our lives and in the world around us. Shine your light of hope for the many peoples who are rebuilding their lives after storms and floods, especially for those in the Philippines after this week’s typhoon. Bring peace in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan and any other countries, cities, towns, or homes where war, violence, or destruction have become a way of life. For all those who are devastated by loss, mental or physical illness, or addictions, we ask for healing, compassionate care, and a new possibility of joy. And for all those who are lost, forgotten, or unseen, open our eyes that they, too, may know your love. God of All Life, we pray for the day that all your children may shed their garments of sorrow and affliction and clothe themselves with your beauty and glory.
Merciful God, bring light to our darkness. Even as we have prayed for all those in need, we would exclude some from your loving kindness. Teach us to see with your eyes. We sometimes forget that you value all human beings and call us to do the same. Grant us the courage to confront our own prejudices and to stand against those who act in hatred. We long to recognize you in ourselves, in each other, and in all people we encounter. During this Advent season and throughout our lives, by your tender mercy, guide our feet in the way of peace.
God-with-us, we are in the wilderness and we hear the cry to prepare the way for you. You come to us in the ordinary, and extraordinary things happen – a baby in a manger brings salvation to the world. We are your people. We know that you are the God who is come, has come, and will come again. In gratitude we try to smooth away our roughness and wait for the day when all shall see the salvation of God. Amen.
RCL – Year C – Second Sunday of Advent December 9, 2012
Malachi 3:1-4 or Baruch 5:1-9