A prayerful response to Luke 1:26-38 Mary pondered. She wondered. Even though she was fearful, perplexed, She asked questions, responded with curiosity, And remained open to God’s possibilities. O God, there is much in this world, And much about you that can leave us Feeling fearful and confused. And, there are all sorts of ways we can respond. So in those moments, God, Empower us to choose Mary-like openness. Free us to ponder your possibilities, Ask questions, and wonder anew. Amen.
What will it take to get ready for Christmas? A change in schedule? A shift in perspective? Time spent with the right people? A snowy scene outside? Boxes checked on my to-do list? Boxes under the tree? Music, food, laughter, ease? What will it take to get ready for Christmas, I wonder, for the day is almost here. Perhaps the best way to get ready for Christmas is to pause, to pray, and be acutely aware of Emmanuel, “God with us,” now and forevermore— Emmanuel in this moment no matter what might be going on.
Most Gracious God, O hear our prayer. Reveal your Spirit among us. In times of happiness and despair, Let lasting joy fill and hold us. We see a world of pain, where wounds obscure your goodness. You see your unfolding reign of healing, grace, and justice. This prayer can be sung to the tune of GREENSLEEVES.
O God, show us how to be faithful when time flies by, and tasks add up, and traditions lose their meaning. May we be open to your Spirit, So familiar words ring true. Let us find honest refrains, And not just adopt last year’s joy. Let us be present, alive, and not lost in traditions gone by. God, there’s so much meaning in this season, And yet so much we do not see. In the days and weeks ahead, Inspire us to dig deeper and reflect on what’s good, just, noble and true. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Dark evenings, flurries of snow, a nice deep breath at the end of a long day, a soft, warm kitty curled up on my lap, music, memories, and a warm cup of tea— for the little blessings and the peace they bring, O God, I give you thanks. “We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of the heart.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast
O God, tis the season for music, For special concerts, caroling, canned music, and sacred refrains, Some of it inspires service. Some of it inspires spending. Some of it sparks fond memories, and some of it seems shallow at best. But, God, there is another kind of music this season— Music not heard on a stage or in a store, Not recorded or performed, but rather welling up within. The music of this season is that sweet song of the soul. And so, O God, amid the Advent cacophony, as hopes of a shiny, perfect Christmas close in, Let us keep returning to that sacred song. May we hear your Spirit’s echoes within.