Begin this evening by quieting your hearts and minds. Light a candle. Focus on the flickering flame of the candle and slow your breathing.
Opening Song: The Place Where Advent Starts
Waiting for the Light
Advent is a season of "waiting" - when we look and watch expectantly for Christ's coming in glory. Henri Nouwen said "Waiting is essential to our spiritual life...waiting for God is an active, alert, yes, a joyful waiting."
This Advent, we are Waiting for the Light – the Light of Christ to light our way. It is a time to get in touch with our heartfelt longings and deepest desires. It is time to give new birth to the soul as we wait in hope for the joyous celebration of the reality of Christ’s presence among us – here and everywhere, now and for all time.
As you enter into prayer this evening listen to our opening song - Christ Be Our Light
Help us to be active and alert in our waiting this Advent Season. May we live fully in the present moment in order to recognize the sign of the One for whom we wait. Guide us and open our hearts so that we may hear your call and answer it. We recognize it may be a call to "suffering", to recognize the pain of our own brokenness; a call to "forgiveness", a call to "real discipline" in dealing with the world's distractions and let GOD be. May your light be manifested through us so that we are on the path to the TRUE joy, hope and inner peace which comes with the giving of ourselves to others through You. Amen
Scripture Reading - Isaiah 55: 10 -13
Yet just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me empty,
but shall do what pleases me,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Yes, in joy you shall go forth,
in peace you shall be brought home;
Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you,
all trees of the field shall clap their hands.
In place of the thornbush, the cypress shall grow,
instead of nettles, the myrtle.
This shall be to the LORD’s renown,
as an everlasting sign that shall not fail.
Psalm Response: My Soul in Stillness Waits
God who dispels all darkness,
Come to be with us, in each one our situations;
Come to live among us, live with us and in us;
Come to fill the distance that divides and separates us;
Come to reconcile us with You and with one another.
O Come O Come Emmanuel
A Reflective Reading from the Writings of Ronald Rolheiser
We spend about 98 percent of our lives waiting for something else to happen to us. Only rarely do we find ourselves inside what Henri Nouwen called a fully pregnant moment, that is, where we can say to ourselves: “Right now I don’t want to be in any other place, with any other people, or doing anything other than what I am doing right now!” Mostly we are in one situation, with certain people, doing certain things, but are waiting for that to end so that something else or someone else can appear in our lives.
We experience this in many ways: sometimes we are just waiting for our bus to arrive, for our workday to end, or for a cherished friend to call. But at other times our impatience is deeper and we ache for a new season in our lives, a new person to fall in love with, a more meaningful career, or for the courage to finally face up to a nagging problem. We are always waiting.
In that sense, we are always in “advent,” a word that comes from the Latin, Adventus, meaning “coming.” We long for someone or something to come along and bring new light and meaning into our lives. For us, as Christians, we see that new meaning and light in the coming of Christ.
The season of Advent is a time to get in touch with our longing, our aching, our frustrations. Its liturgical color speaks not of penance, but of desire – and, in desire, we can, as the mystics say, enter into the loneliness of God and intuit the Kingdom.
Pause after each intercession allowing yourself to name people/places.
We bring to mind all the people and the places in the world that are in need of light this day:
We bring to mind those places in the world where families and countries are torn apart by conflict, violence, or war, and ask for the light of peace to break through the darkness:
We bring to mind all those places where people have been forced from their homes and are separated from their families and ask for the light of hope to break through:
We bring to mind all those places in the world where people are suffering from disease or illness and ask for the light of healing to break through:
We bring to mind all those places in the world where people are held by poverty, hunger, and isolation and ask for the light of freedom and abundant life to break through:
Song of Praise:
Holy is His Name
O Wisdom, Come to teach us the way of truth.
O Lord of Israel, Come to redeem us with an outstretched arm.
O Root of Jesse, Come to bring us and all those we care about new life; do not delay.
O Key of David, Come to open our prison door, whatever that door may be, and set us free.
O Radiant Dawn, Come to bring light to the darkness in our lives.
O King of all Nations, Come to same us and give us peace.
O God-With-Us, Stay with us and send us forth in your name. Amen.
God of Day and God of Darkness
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