Let Advent begin again
Not merely in commercials;
For that first Christmas was not
Simply for children,
But for the
Wise and the strong.
Crowded around that cradle,
With kings kneeling.
Speak to us
Who seek an adult seat this year.
Help us to realize,
As we fill stockings,
Christmas is mainly
For the old folks —
And tired eyes
Need relief and light
A little more.
It was grown-ups
Who were the first
Such a star.
—David A. Redding, from If I Could Pray Again (1965)
Lord Jesus, every year I hope that this will be the year that I have a reflective Advent.
I look forward to this Sunday and this new season. But all around me are the signs rushing me to Christmas and some kind of celebration that equates spending with love. I need your help.
I want to slow down my world.
This year, more than ever, I need Advent, these weeks of reflection and longing for hope in the darkness. Jesus, this year, help me to have that longing. Help me to recognise and accept the hunger and thirst in my own soul. Jesus, you are not missing from my life, but I want to know every place where you are present.
Be with me, Lord. Let me see what you want to show me. Lead me to the place of my own weakness, where I will find you deeply within, loving me without limit.
—Creighton University Online Ministries (edited)
Justice, mercy and peace
Médecins Sans Frontières gives medical help to people in crises world wide. Its work is impartial and independent and based on needs alone. Teams in the field often witness the result of conflict, neglect and disaster and are committed to speaking out to alert the public to the plight of the people they help.
Stanley Spencer. The Centurion's servant (1914), Tate Gallery, London.
J.S. Bach. Three Advent chorale-preludes (BWV 599, 604 606) from Orgelbüchlein. House organ made by A. David Moore of Vermont, played by George Becker.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.