Monday, December 20, 2010

Praying, waiting in this last week of Advent 2010

Photo by neilbetter


There's an Advent prayer in every celebration of the Eucharist. It comes in the embolism, the prayer that expands on the last line of the Lord's prayer:

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Advent reminds us to ask:


Are we waiting for the coming of Jesus?
And are we waiting in joyful hope?

Only in part does Advent focus us on December 25, 2010.  Advent's greater focus is on the second coming of Christ at the end of time. Yes, Advent helps us prepare to celebrate this year's Christmas day worthily, but recall the words of the opening prayer of the First Sunday of Advent:


May the dawn of his coming
find us rejoicing in his presence
and welcoming the light of his truth.

The "dawn" here is not Christmas morning, but rather the day when the Lord will again at the end of time.

Early Christians expected the Lord's imminent return but learned that indeed, we know neither the hour nor the day.  Advent for contemporary Christians should be a season of stretching our vision, looking through a wider window, pondering a time when Christ who has died and risen - will come again.

Let us pray...

Deliver me, gracious God, from every evil
and from every temptation.
Give me the gift of your peace,
even today...

Give me deep inner peace and calm my fears.
Teach me to be patient
if the peace I seek delays
or comes not all at once...

Teach me to wait, O God...
Teach me to wait for all your good gifts.
Teach me to wait with hope and trust
that you will give me the things I truly need
and that in them I will find my deepest joy...

Help me to yearn for your coming today, tomorrow,
at the end of my life and at the end of time...

Teach me to wait in joyful hope
for the coming of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.



O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.



 
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have listened to this more than once during the past few days. Such a beautiful, peaceful rendition. Thank you for all of the lovely Advent postings you have provided for us during this season of holy expectation.

Rosemary