Pastoral Prayer from 12/6/15

O God, here we are again.
Once again searching for words,
Words to give voice to the pain and hurt
Brought on by senseless acts of violence.
The attacks in San Bernardino ripped open our nostalgic eyes,
even further exposing us to the chaos.

We say:
How long o Lord?
When will it stop?
How can someone do that?

But none of it seems to help.

We seem trapped by the void where our words should be.
Nothing we say can make it any better,
And so we turn to You.

Turning to find some hint of constancy,
Turning to find some glimmer of hope,
Turning to find some semblance of peace.

O LORD, this is the season of Advent,
the season where we hope, yearn, and mark time,
mark time until you Son is born again and comes again.
As the shadows grow longer and longer,
we are supposed to contemplate the darkness in the shadows.

But, God of light and dark, it seems like everywhere we turn we are                confronted with the shadows of this world.
No longer is this mediation contained only in the 4 weeks before the Birth,
no, it is too often front and center on our phones, on our TVs, on our  computers,
too often it is front and center in our minds and our hearts.

We know all to well the need for your Son,
the Hope of the world,
the Prince of Peace,
the One for whom the world groans for.

But Your Son was not born simply to die,
He lived so we might live as well.
He taught his disciples, he was drawn to the outcast,
calling them in when the world pushed them out,
He called out hypocrisy, he healed, he fed, he loved.

He calls us to do the same.
He calls us to be agents of his Gospel of reconciliation,
To reach out to whom the world says no,
To live a life where we walk and talk in the same way,
To heal,
To feed.
Christ calls us to love.

You are the Potter and we are the clay,
From the dust of the earth you formed us,
Gathering it up and filling our lungs with your Holy Breath.
This Advent day of Peace,
We pray that you would form us how you will,
That we bend and yield to your beckoning hand,
moving us toward being a people of Hope and Peace.
Breathe on us again,
So we might have the courage to live a life worthy of the calling Your Son puts on each one of us.

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