Monday Morning Offering - 217

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

O Lord,
with Thanksgiving falling early this year,
the race to Christmas got an extra early start.
More than a week before Advent began:
halls were decked, gifts bought, bows tied,
trees decorated, bells jingled,
cards sent and lights lit…

Brass quintets, harking to herald angels,
muted Advent’s hope and joy
long before Veni, Emmanuel was on our lips…

(Somewhere, in a punch bowl,
some eggnog has begun to spoil, Lord…)

If not at the mall, then, and not in the stores,
if not on the streets and not online
then in my heart, Lord,
let there come this month:
a season when I pause and wonder, as a child might,
at Mary’s Child, born to save, so many years ago;
a season when I wait for you though you’ve already come
and claimed a place, a home within my heart;
a season when in faith I wander,
watching for your coming once again,
one day, when all our days are done…

So in my heart, Lord, help me keep an Advent vigil
for you who came two thousand years ago,
for you who stay close by my side,
for you who’ll come again when all the waiting’s done…

Until then, Lord…

As I do my Christmas shopping,
help me buy what’s needed,
not by friends and family who already have too much,
but for those who have so little, next to nothing,
who are poor, as once were you,
in Bethlehem…

Help me decorate my days with wreaths of kindness:
let my good deeds be as ornaments sparkling
on the branches of my neighbors’ lives…

Let my eyes shine as candles in the windows of my soul,
with light and warmth to welcome all
into my heart and home…

Let my Christmas greetings be of joy:
not just in cards, on Face Book and in email,
but in the words I speak to those
to whom I’ve peace to offer and to make…

Let my partying be merry, with sobriety;
my spirits balanced with tranquility;
my rejoicing tempered with serenity;
and my prayer distinguished by docility…

Help me prepare to celebrate your birthday, Lord,
your holy advent, your Christmas coming,
one night so long ago…

Help me celebrate your presence now among us:
since you were born
no greater gift’s been given or received…

Help me prepare for when you come again:
the advent of your reign of peace upon the world,
upon our hearts…

This the prayer I offer, Lord, this Advent Monday morning:
let it be my prayer all day, this week
and through the month ahead, until with all the world
we sing again the tidings of your holy birth!


(Here's some Advent music to help you stay "in season!")


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