O Come O Come Emmanuel,
We continue to wait, and long to believe that the Advent story will give way to the Incarnation of Christmas.
We hear the prophets’ proclamation that the paths will be made straight and that every valley will be exalted, every hill made low. We hear tell that your Glory will be revealed. Come O Come Emmanuel and make it so.
We hear that the desert will bloom for joy at Christ’s coming. We search for evidence; we search for the absurdity of wild roses and crocuses breaking through parched earth.
We hear the angels’ song, we hear Mary’s “yes”, we hear the shepherds’ story – may we proclaim alongside these voices, bearing witness to your presence.
We hear that a child will lead us. We hear this very child bear names like Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God. We hear tell of his authority and kingdom of eternal peace. We search for evidence of this, even in this time of twinkling lights, sparkling ornaments, and joyful choruses, O God, it seems hard to believe this truth, your truth.
O Come O Come Emmanuel, and make it so.
We continue to gather together to sing songs in anticipation, in hope, in faith because we have been told of your coming. And yet, we look around and, if we are honest, our hope is often dim. O Come O Come Emmanuel and make it so:
Turn our swords into plowshares;
Cause the deserts to bloom;
Give the blind sight, the sick new life; restore us all in your hope and your peace.
O Come O Come Emmanuel, in our waiting, in our looking, may we see your promise of hope, and evidence of your incarnation in our world.
We pray all this with the Christ Child. Amen.
(adapted from, and inspired by a prayer for Advent by Sharlande Sledge, associate pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church, Waco, Texas.)