God, it is not easy for us to wait, but that is what this season is about. Waiting is what Advent calls us to do. Help us to wait patiently for you. As we wait, help us not to remain stagnant. Guide us to the top of the mountain to see the beauty of the world, and aid us in running down the mountain to proclaim Your handiwork.
During this Advent season of waiting for the birth of Christ, be especially with those in need of your healing and your comfort. Let them feel that you are waiting with them, strengthening them. Help us know your loving presence, help us feel your gracious peace.
God of hope, God of peace, God of joy — as Advent moves forward, our minds are filled with thoughts of Christmas. During this emotionally charged season of Advent, we wait in anticipation for a baby born in a stable. We anticipate true living in a hope that only you can provide, O God of joy. We pray this Advent that as you created the world, you might yet again create the hope, peace, joy and love that our hearts need immediately.
This season, offer us signs of hope in our earthly siblings in Christ. So, open us now, O God, to one another. Open us to hope that others bestow upon us. Open us now, O God. Open up our hearts to the joy that awaits us this special season. Open our hearts to the real joy of Christmas — a joy that doesn’t come in the presents we find under our tree, but in the presence of your light in our lives, the presence of your grace and the presence of your love.
We wait, not so patiently, for your arrival into the world once again, O Emmanuel, for we desperately need your love, grace, mercy and hope in this divided world. Amen.
JOANNA HIPP is a free-range pastor in the Presbytery of Charlotte. She is a member of the presbytery’s Ministry Resource Committee, vice president of the Alum Board of Louisville Seminary and serves on the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice. Joanna loves minions, colorful pants and all sports.