So here is a prayer I have prepared for Advent Sunday tomorrow…
It is Advent Sunday – we start the Christian year again
With Advent is the invitation to deeper engagement
What has been said before will be said again,
but with two significant differences:
firstly, the world is not as it was before
– it is better and it is worse, that is the nature of the world
and secondly, we haven’t been who we are before
– we are always at the edge of growing, and deepening our engagement with the dynamics of God’s grace at work in us…
so we pray
As the late spring winds blow
and test the hold that the new leaves have on the branches,
so God we invite your spirit-presence into our lives
and the lives of those about us.
God we do not seek you as a comfort-blanket under which we can hide,
no, we invite your turbulent love to sweep over us
and this land, and this world in need.
Stir us, enliven us, engage us,
that in this season of Advent
we will hear again, as if for the first time,
of your invitation to live the transformed life.
You come in Jesus Christ.
We come in response.
You call us to life in all its fullness.
But we confess that we almost always respond in our own way,
from our places of comfort and resistance, and consequently,
with lowered expectations of what your fullness can be.
Forgive us, we pray,
forgive us for the way that we so often hear your call
and so often have our hearts stirred,
but before too long we have resorted to our old habits
and given into our divided loyalties.
We invite your turbulent love to sweep over us.
We invite your Living Word to stop us in our tracks.
We invite your Spirit-presence into the corridors of our resistance
to blow away the dust and cobwebs of our fear-filled patterns of life,
that we might hear the call from the deep
and respond anew with vigour and passion,
to the story of you, O God, living among us full of grace and truth.
And this is God’s word to us… from 2 Corinthians 5:17
“… if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This is what God pronounces for us.
This is the life that God creates in us.
This is the promise that comes to us today in Jesus Christ.
And God’s Spirit enables us to live into this new creation.
God, hear us as we hear your call
and respond in love as a forgiven and renewed people,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.