Blue heaven

SJC12510-98

Regardless of the color of the season, Advent is hope, joy, peace, love.

This past Sunday I walked into church and inwardly rejoiced at seeing the unexpected: A new Advent tradition! 

Finally we have blue instead of purple on the altar!  Truly appropriate, considering we’re eagerly awaiting the birth of a newborn child— Jesus!

Prayers

All powerful God, we are humbled by the ways you use to express your love for us.  Help us to see them with fresh eyes this Advent season.  Come to us as you know we need you to.  Amen (Rev. Mary Catherine {Kay] Day).

Almighty God and Lord of hosts, we gather in our hearts around your first, humble, earthly throne.  Fill us with joy— overwhelm us with the mysterious grace of your dwelling among us.  In a day that often overwhelms us, prepare for us a silent time of contemplation that we might kneel by your cradle and meditate on your presence.  As we delight in you, remind us that you have come for all people, that you have chosen to reside with us, and that you desire nothing but our unfettered love in response.  Amen (Rev. Nathan Carlson).

Dear God of life and of surprises, help us to be grateful for the positive surprises that come our way and to meet courageously the surprises that challenge us to be open to new possibilities.  May we be transformed into living surprises of goodness and grace for all those whom we meet on our journey of life.  Thank you, Lord, for the great surprise which is the birth of your Son into our lives.  Amen (Fr. John Anglin, OFM).

Dear Lord, teach us to count our days so that we might gain wisdom.  May that wisdom be found in contemplating, experiencing, expecting, and even practicing your steadfast love.  We recognize how brief our lives are, so please grant us meaning and purpose as we seek your presence and await your coming.  Amen (Rev. Darryl Lockie).

Father, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, breathe new life into each of us.  Give us strength and resolve as you did your servants Mary and Joseph so that, like them, we may honor and protect the precious lives of those in our care.  As we enter this holy season, let us be people of wonder, reverence and playful imagination so that we may, with full hearts and full voice, proclaim our joy to the world.  We ask this in the name of the once and forever newborn king.  Amen (Larry Livingston).

God of grace and God of glory, incarnate in the flesh of our Christ, you bring hope to those who walk in great darkness and offer new life to all those who follow the beauty of your radiance.  Grant us your presence in this season of dismal dark days, and move us forward with you to allow Christ to be born, once again, into us.  Amen (Rev. Drew Himes).

Good and gracious God, as I prepare Christmas cards and letters, writing words of joy and love, prepare my heart to receive the word made flesh— Jesus, your son.  As I prepare our home for guests, for feasts, and for friends, help me open the door of my heart just a bit wider to make room at our table for all.  As I prepare gifts to go beneath the tree and packages to bless loved ones near and far, deepen my gratitude for your many gifts to me.  Amen (RCL Benziger, 2018).

Heavenly Father, we look to you during this Advent journey.  We trust that you will provide for and protect us, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Help us to recognize, rely on, and appreciate your goodness.  May we also take responsibility for ourselves, tending to and safeguarding our faith so that we are ready for all the new year brings.  In the name of Jesus, our newborn King.  Amen (Rev. Jo Ramsey).

Holy God, we lay our lives before you now.  We turn off our mobile phones and tablets and give our attention to you totally this Advent season.  Surprise us again with unanticipated wonder so we can be awakened to a new and abundant life.  We close our eyes to the things that draw us away from you and open them to the joys you share with us each day in small and unassuming ways.  We listen with anticipation for your wake-up call, ready to love and serve you with every fiber of our being.  All these things we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen (Pittsburg Theological Seminary [PTS], 2019).

Holy Spirit, awaken our lives to the radiant hope that has found us, claimed us, redeemed us, and keeps us in Jesus.  Stir our imaginations to see our lives and world according to God’s mission.  Pour your love and truth into our hearts so that we become a reflection and representative of Christ… (Rev. Timothy Goodman).

Humbling God, humble us.  Lord of all, continue to serve us and save us from ourselves— from a sense of importance and pride; from failure to recognize who and whose we are; and from too often letting ourselves slip into thinking “it’s all about me.”  Show us how to get out of the way of your coming among us once more, that we may show forth in the way we serve that it really is all about you (Rev. Dr. James Graham).

Lord God, please open our eyes, our hearts, and our imaginations that we might see God’s kingdom with our mind’s eye.  And, on seeing, let us help to make our vision reality.  Amen (Rev. Dr. Martha Murchison; edited).

Lord Jesus, O name above all names, we find ourselves nearing the end of this year’s Advent journey.  As we prepare to welcome you afresh, sustain us in the peace that is your never-ending love so that we may share the great joy of your birth with all we meet.  This we ask for your name’s sake.  Amen (Rev. Scott Dennis).

Loving God, help us to recognize your presence in all we meet.  Give us the wisdom to reverence you by serving our sisters and brothers.  In all we do, may love for you be our strength and our guiding star.  We ask this in your most holy name.  Amen (Larry Livingston).

Oh God, come, be with us in our lives today.  Show us, your people, your new way.  Imbue us with love, great hope, and peace beyond all comprehension.  Hold us up by faith and trust that your promises will be fulfilled throughout Creation.  Bring us wholeness, bring peace on earth, and bring goodwill among all humanity we pray.  So be it!  Amen (PTS).

O God, this journey of Advent stirs great excitement in us.  In this season, we see anew all the good gifts you continue to bring to us through your journey to and abiding presence with us— gifts that remind us of your great love for each one of us.  Please grant that in all we do and say, we will reflect your great gift of Christ our Lord to everyone we meet as we walk with you each day.  Amen (PTS).

December 24, 2012

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in your faith, so that in the power of the Holy Spirit you may be rich in hope” (Romans 15:13).

December 24, 2019

Love is always bestowed as a gift— freely, willingly, and without expectation.  We don’t love to be loved, we love to love (Dr. Leo Buscaglia).

Links of interest…  Advent: about / anticipation & hope (more) / candles / calendar / celebration of saints / celebrating the season / colors / customs / devotionsprayers (quotes) / preparing for the coming king / quotesseasonal customs / storiessurprise calendar / time of preparation / wreath…  American Catholic…  Baby’s coming to shake up our world…  Catholic online…  Franciscan media…  National Shrine of St. Jude: blog / home page / meditations / prayers & petitions…  Nunc dimittis: about / canticle of Simeon / song (YouTube)…  O antiphons…  Our Lady of Advent…  Pencil Preaching: God of surprises / Joy to the world

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Call of service…  Capuchin Christmas…  Christmas blessings…  Christmas scenes…  Christmas year ’round…  Church time blues…  Oh, happy day!…  On being Christian…  Our Lady…  Prayer power…  Prayerful ways…  San Giuseppe…  Sweet Jesus