O God of Advent,
You are with us, Emmanuel, near as breath, present as Spirit, guiding us as Lord. You hear our sighs and groans and speak their language. When we are in chaos, you make sense of our wildest stirrings. You are the great Comforter.
You are forever arriving, O God, at once beside us and ahead of us like the Kingdom John the Baptizer proclaimed was at hand.
We long for the closeness and protection of your peace, the assurance of your hope, the lightness of your joy. We want to know you are near with love for all. Even when fear abounds and possibility seems illusive, we celebrate the Advent promise of Christ as God with us.
But this other side of you, O Divine One, is a challenge. The moving, active, transforming, changing landscapes, upending injustice dimension of you is, at times, too much to bear. You call us not your work of birthing hope, working for peace, leading a revolution of joy. That seems like more than we asked for.
If we can be completely honest for just a moment, we do not want to work for these realities. We simply want to ask for you to give us hope, give us peace, give us joy, and give us a love that makes everything alright. And we ask you for these things like a child asking Santa to leave a favorite new toy beneath the tree.
O God of Advent, assure us of one thing: the work is not too much, the burden will be light, and the labor of birthing a kingdom we cannot see is a task we enter into together as your people. And in the laboring, we will discover joy. In the laboring, we will realize peace has been birthed in us. In the laboring, our love for ourselves and for each other will grow. And in the laboring, we will be overcome by the hope we carry that you truly are with us, near as breath, present as Spirit, guiding us as Lord.
We give our lives to these things, O God. We line our steps up behind Jesus the Christ. We follow the wind of the Holy Spirit to boldly live as we boldly pray. May it be so. Amen.