Gracious God, we anticipate and await your coming to us this Advent season. We believe the unbelievable message that in love you came to be one of us – a person both human and divine. We rejoice that you have not kept your distance from us….but have shortened the distance between us and you through the birth of Jesus.
As, like John the Baptist, we prepare the way for the celebration of your coming to us at Christmas, remind us that you are not a God separated and aloof from your creation. Teach us anew that you have not abandoned us, but that you have surrounded us with love, peace, hope, joy, and good news…and have called us to live a life worthy of your ideals and purposes. God, you are the atmosphere of our lives and the environment by which our lives are sustained.
Finally, God, remind us that the world is not a cold and empty space, but a place filled with your presence and power and love. Help us to be bearers of your light in the midst of the darkness that often surrounds us.
Loving God, we pray this morning for those we know, and for those throughout our community and world, who are weathered by illness, of grief, or injustice, or unrest…..and the many other ways and kinds of suffering. May the good news of your compassion and grace bring peace and hope. Help US to make our world, our homes, our communities, and our church, and our lives worthy to receive the Christ who comes to us with open arms and with boldness. Grant that we may seek after Christ’s shalom and follow after Christ’s justice, so that his kingdom may be born again in our lives.
O God, give us the spirit of this Advent season, that our lives may more closely shape and resemble the life of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Make us ready and deserving of your coming. Amen.