The people walking in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of
deep darkness, a light will shine.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and all authority will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his authority
and peace, there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The Son of God is with us, and we worship
in the name of the Father,
of the newborn Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Arise, shine: for your light has come.
O God, we live as if the light
had never defeated the darkness in the world or in us.
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
We confess that we ignore the Christ
you sent to be among us, to be in us.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord
will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
We’ve kept the birth of your Son confined to the Christmas season
and do not yearn for his birth each moment in our waiting hearts.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lord, you came to us in the fullness of time.
Forgive us for not opening our eyes to your coming.
It’s time that we prepare for your coming.
Let the earth ring with song.
Let the light break forth.
Let all rejoice in the miracle of love.
Let Christ come into the fullness of our time.
We pray to our God in community, holy in One, amen.
How can we move from anticipation to the reality that Jesus has given us freedom to live the way God intended us to live?
What is God inviting you to do or be this season and upcoming year?
When can we dream, if not in the season of Advent?
When can we make room in our hearts, in our worship, in our work,
for the possibility of something wildly and divinely new, if not in Advent?
The Lord has sent you to dream of protesters draped
in garlands not ashes, of the poor and mourning marked
by oil rather than sackcloth, of churches resounding with
praise not silence, so that all the world sees this planting
of the Lord, this seed of a hope of God’s glory.
The Lord has called us to dream of restoration for all people,
of justice and relationship raining down in abundance so much
that no one says,”See how they fight and rage; see how they
crush their own brothers & sisters under the weight of inequity,”
but rather “See how the Lord lives through them.”
God has given the world a song that imagines a so-called
welfare mother bearing God into the world, a boy of color
meant to save the world; a song that recasts the mother as
blessed and praises the boy as Lord.
Testify to the light.
Tell of God’s imagination!
So go forth in the name of the Father,
of the newborn Son
and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Spencer Brown @ Flickr]