It is a night prayer from the liturgy “Night Prayer” from the New Zealand Prayer Book. I have long love the prayer and have shared it before but it fits advent perfectly and is worth sharing again. I use it every night before sleep. Peace be with you.
it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
Some people have never heard of Advent. They may not be Christian or espouse any God at all but in this season there is a difference in the air. In the time building up to Christmas there is more focus on the needy and homeless. Collections are made for children, food is collected, the Salvation Army and others receive more help. We are more generous and there is a spirit of compassion abounding. It seems that advent calls for generosity and kindness.Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanakkuh or only the commercial aspects this season changes people The spirit of the holidays is around us and yes, it is something more.
Caring God, help us to carry this spirit into the new year. AMEN
We are waiting. Most of the time we don’t wait patiently. We want things to happen now! We are poor examples of your love but we know there is better to come. We have to wait for the goodness that on the way. Spend the time in advent looking forward to the birth of Christ. A blessed baby sent to redeem us and show us how to live each day.
Amazing God, you knew we didn’t understand you and so you sent your son. Thank you. AMEN
In churches that follow that sort of pattern it is now Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin “coming.” The dictionary says it is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.”
When we are planning for the arrival of someone or something important we usually spend time getting ready. If it is something good we are awaiting we anticipate it with excitement. In this case it is the arrival of a baby.
Waiting for a baby can be exhilarating and exhausting. We buy things for the baby, get a room ready, attend parties and get presents. We count the days.
These are all things we do in this season. However the season has run off the rails. We have forgotten why we are doing all of this. Stop and remember why we are waiting!
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up[a] as by the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
We cannot hide from God. When we do the burden of our sins can overcome us. We have to confess the sins that God already knows. Then the weight of them can be lifted away. Our sins can be forgiven. Thank God!
Compassionate God, we are so blessed that your son died for our sins. We can be forgiven. AMEN
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
We can see God. We see him in the faces of friends and family. We see him in the little happenings of each day. We see him in the world around us. We can even see him in suffering and pain. If we pay attention we can see him. Open you eyes to see!
4 One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
I love this Psalm. How I would love to live in the house of the Lord. How comforting it is to know that he will shelter me and set me high on a rock. Living in a hurricane zone on an island makes this promise important to me. I can see the water rising in my yard. I can feel safe knowing that I can be higher than the water for God is with me.