an advent prayer

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Father, the gift of quiet this morning was overwhelmingly kind.

I know I idolize the 'perfect scenario' under which I might produce an abiding stillness with You - forgive me for being unwilling to consider Your ubiquitous presence an ongoing gift and Your indwelling life the precious abiding for which I long.

Help me to see You not just when the tree is lit and the candles are burning, but when the coffee pot sputters empty and the sun seems to have risen far too early.

Help me to hear You not only when I can sit quietly in the morning, but when small voices chatter incessantly throughout my day.

Help me to use my will to fulfill the intention of my heart: an ongoing awareness of Your purposeful presence in my day. May I listen for You and look for You and cherish the ways You make Yourself known, though those ways are often surprising.

Your first coming - the advent long ago - seems the most outlandish and somehow most entirely probable thing. On days when I struggle to believe You are a constant source of good and the Redeemer coming again, help me to press into Emmanuel, God with us. When I cannot make sense of the unbearable griefs of life, may I press through into the life of the Son You did not spare of grief. When I cannot compute the confusion of delayed hopes and heartbreak, may I consider the disoriented hopes of mother Mary, whose likely hopes of a 'normal' life were gloriously disrupted by Your very Son...and let me not forget her heartbreak at His death.

You gave Him up for us all...how will You not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Help me to consider these things a grace from Your hand, holding tight to the hope of Your second advent - Your coming again.

Because as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

The charms of the season beckon and Lord you know the hustle of traditions and the cheery busyness calls to us. Let our rejoicing not be lost in the flurry of activity and piles of wrapping paper and evergreen candles. Let our hopes not be misplaced and distorted into demands. Let our hearts be restored to the peaceful intimacy with You for which they were created.

Let us reckon it a gift to consider that the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, and let us enter into this Advent season with the hope that He will come again.

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