We have come into your house with gladness, may you hear the praises of our hearts. We give you thanks for all that we have enjoyed this week, time off from work, more and better food than usual, and the company of family and friends. While we are thankful for all of this may we also know that our joy doesn’t come from holiday, our joy comes from you. The sounds of this week turn our minds to Christmas, whether we like it or not, the songs, the colors, the symbols and the sales are upon us. We pray that in the midst of our cultural expressions you would give us a keen focus on our spiritual expressions of hope for the coming messiah.
As we enter this season of advent, we come with hope. I’m not sure about everyone God, but when I look at the world I only see glimpses of hopefulness. It is troubling to see people in other countries oppressed because of their beliefs, not allowed to speak out against their leaders. It doesn’t make sense to see poverty and its results homelessness, hunger, and poor health. It hurts to see death at the hands of each other through wars whether between nations, ideologies, or individuals who can’t get along. I worry that I am aware of all of this because I have been blessed with much privilege. Too often the privilege I exercise is the privilege to do nothing.
I have hope for what you can do in the world. I have hope for what you can do in me. I have hope for what you can do in us. You came into this world to change it, to redeem it. May we open our hearts to this change. When we sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, may we express the hope of our heart that you would enter our lives as you entered the world and reconcile us to you. In doing so God, may we stop looking into our world for glimpses of hope and look to your kingdom coming down on us daily bringing hope and redemption to our broken world through people just like us, your children, your own.
May we give our lives to you God. May you take every minute we give to you, every thought that centers on you, every action taken in your name, and every cent that is offered to you and bless it as hope, eternal hope which comes through your son, our savior, Jesus. O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Amen.