Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Pastor's Prayer for her People - Second Sunday of Advent, 2008

Almighty God, who shows us favor:

We come to you this morning with praises on our lips that are muted by the cold of this world. This morning, Loving God, we want to worship you. We want to stand up and praise your Holy Name, but we are weak with fatigue and sadness and sorrow. We hear of the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, brought to us in words of preparation and urgency, and we are ready for this good news. As you incline your ear to our supplications, our prayers for mercy, food, shelter, healing, understanding, clarity, vision, truth, peace… you hear a cacophony of sound resonating from us, your people, who are crying out in the wilderness for your Word of Good News.

Comfort, O Comfort your people. As we shout out with voices of anger, rage, and misunderstanding, whisper back with a voice of tenderness and mercy. As we wade through the valleys, give us the promise that our valley will be exalted, and our stumbling blocks will be made low.

Holy God, we are as grass that will wither - we know all too well the frailty and fragility of our own selves, our own bodies, our own relationships, our own institutions.

We give you thanks when we are healthy, but a virus gets the best of us.
We praise your name when you give us connections with sisters and brothers, but then we feel disappointed, betrayed, abandoned... alone.
Our governments, financial systems, churches and businesses take our money - our investments - our very trust, and waste it, leaving us desolated.
We are withering, and we want to cry out, "Where ARE you, O God?!"

And a voice responds:

"Prepare the way of the LORD.
You may wither and fade and become faithless,
but the Lord your God will never wither.
The Word of God will last forever.
Your bad news will come and go,
but the Good News of God will never fade away."
In you, Mighty God, we are gathered up and comforted as we listen to your voice say, "I AM."

Thanks be to God.



Sharmaine said...

Mandy, you have no idea how much I NEEDED that. The way it resonated with me is beyond words! I'm in a place right now that I hate, and my heart is crying out to God. I'm trying to remain strong in my faith, but my spirit is broken. I feel like it's been lost and I don't know what to do. THANK YOU for your words. They are proof that the Holy Spirit is still working, guiding you to write exactly what I needed to read.

Bechrist7 said...

Mandy! Thank you soooooooooo much for sharing this! Your words are such a blessing!