by Dr. Pat
Prayer Ministry Volunteer
(Italicized lyrics to “Thankful” by David Foster, Richard Page and Carole Bayer Sager)
So for tonight we pray for/What
we know can be…
In the midst of winter’s dark, light breaks over the horizon, the light which no darkness can overcome. We have waited and yearned for the promise of Emmanuel, God with us, and now, like Mary, we approach full term, full time, aching for new birth.
And on this day we hope for/What
we still can’t see.
For many who live with loneliness, estrangement, illness, anxiety, and loss, this promise may be just a firefly-gleam in the dark. But Advent teaches us to be watchers of the night, teaches us, like Elizabeth, that even after years of “barrenness,” nothing is impossible with God. Emmanuel comes in the thin sliver of hope--a crescent of light, holding the fullness of the moon in her arms. Or in scriptural hope that the green shoot will come forth from the stump of Jesse. The divine comes in recognizing how we’ve been sustained and companioned during months of hardship, stress, and challenge. Christ’s coming may be manifest in the fresh spring of child-like wonder. Or in the heart’s release from the grip of unforgiveness. And when the tight seed-husk of the defended heart breaks open to new love, Christ surely comes.
It’s up to us to be the
change/And even though we all can still do more…
This birth is no Hallmark card vision of the Holy Family. If we have eyes to see, the in-breaking of Love can come in the most unlikely of places—and occurs not just in us but through us. In the deep stirrings of compassion when we pray with a homeless man in despair or when the fire of justice sends us to the streets on behalf of the stranger, Emmanuel comes. You and I—all of us-- are called to witness to the Light for others.
so much to be thankful for.
As we step into the veil of mystery this night, may we stand in breathless adoration in the presence of the Love that “came down at Christmas.” May it pierce us to the core knowing God does not stand aloof in majesty, but risks everything to be with us, to be embodied again and again, dwelling among us, abiding in us, to show us a grace beyond compare.
O Radiant Love, Come to us again this Holy Night. Come and renew us. Come and live through us. Emmanuel, come. Amen.