Advent Prayers, 1 December
Space Project, New Clee
Stand up and raise your heads,
because your redemption is drawing near.
Now is the time to prepare for Christ’s coming, to welcome the One who is already here.
In Advent, we are invited into the story of salvation. We are asked to take our place in God’s story, so that our lives proclaim the reality of God’s presence in the world.
Advent is a time of deep memories. Amidst the frenzy of shopping, decorating, cooking, working, playing, worrying, dreaming – our present reality can be suspended in an instant as the smell of mulled wine stirs a memory of laughter and friendship or the twinkling lights remind us of our first Christmas tree. We need to give time to these memories: they are part of our story, and part of what God comes to share and redeem. Indeed, it is worth following these memories. Ride them back until we find a space of kindness, compassion, love. Ride them back until pain jabs, and we learn to trust our innate sense that no-one is born for misery: God must have had something better in mind.
Advent is a time to focus on God’s better purpose. We get to follow God’s dreaming. God dreamed once through Mary, who risked everything to make a dwelling place for God. God dreamed through Isaiah, who gave a vision of a world transformed, where the lion could dwell with the lamb. It is worth being enchanted by all this as the lights glisten, and the littlest angel tugs on her panto-wings. It is worth trying to enchant others too: by sharing the story and showing a glimpse of the glory of God. But to truly share God’s dream, we must move from enchantment to engagement. We need to help make God’s dreams real.
This Advent, you are invited to pray for the people of this diocese, young and old, strong and frail, powerful and vulnerable: that we may live out the story of salvation. You are invited to do God’s work: bringing light to others, revealing God’s presence, and helping others respond to Christ’s coming -yesterday, tomorrow, today.
We begin with the people of New Clee: for The Space Project, and The Shalom Charity. These projects offer young people a place to grow and flourish – a place for God’s dreams.
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