Advent Day 13

For the yoke of their burden, & the bar across their shoulder, the rod of their oppressor you have broken as the day of Midian—Isaiah 9:4

Advent Day 12

God’s mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation, for God scatters the proud in their thoughts and heart—Luke 1:51

Comfort Advent Candle Prayer

God, for those of us who haven’t felt like putting up a tree,

or hanging garlands–those of us who have only half heartedly decorated

Or not decorated at all–

It’s ok. We can blue, and sad.

You don’t need any festooning.

You don’t need any bells or whistles.

You are God.

Present in the very midst of Sorrow–

Isn’t that why we light the candles? Because sometime we need the reminders

that you are present, especially when we cannot see Hope, Peace, Joy or Love in the World?

That’s why today we are lighting an extra candle in our hearts. The candle of Comfort. For you–Wonderful Counselor, promise that with Christ too.

Comfort us this year, we pray.

Amen.

Please feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Advent Resources for NL Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Advent Day 11

Then God said to me “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the words of the Lord”—Ezekiel 37: 4

Empty Advent

God,

I’m reminded again

that it’s ok that Advent

is empty

Wasn’t Mary’s Magnificat

about filling up the empty

with Good things!

Weren’t the Angels Sent

to gift the silent world

with Holy Songs?

Wasn’t the whole and entire point?

To fill the world a little more with the love of God.

To put Jesus physically, right here on Earth!

God, remind us that it’s not only ok, but traditional to feel empty at Advent.

And if we are trudging, the long trudge, especially this year,

please send the Holy Spirit to trudge with us we pray.

And to remind us, it’s ok if Advent feels empty this year.

Amen.

Feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Advent Resources for NL Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Comfort My People, A Prayer for Celebrating Christmas This Year

We don’t know how we are going to get through this season,

They sat through my office and said,

And their pain sat visceral in the room.

And I nodded along and prayed that they could find places

where their grief could be invited along with them and given a place at the table.

God, this is a prayer that Christmas can be more of a season of comfort

for those who need it.

I sat in the cards shop the other day,

and could not find one card

that expressed the comfort that I wanted to say during this season

of pandemic-Christmas tide. And I think, God

of what it exactly it was that the shepherds,

and the (actually unnumbered) Magi

and John the Baptist and Mary were looking for on that dark night.

The tidings were Good News of Great Joy yes,

but also, I think, it was comfort that they hungered for

Wasn’t that the fulfillment proclaimed in the Magnificat?

Wasn’t that the first title given to Jesus in Isaiah?

Not mighty* or everlasting father! No!

The first thing named for the Savior to come Counselor! Comforter, and a Wonderful one at that.

Because Lord knows this advent we are black with mourning and grief.

There is no comfort candle on the advent wreath (at least not traditionally)

But that’s who you are, Holy Spirit, Comforter.

And Lord knows we need comfort!

God, may we let this season be one not just of Joy or Hope–

if we aren’t feeling those things, let that be ok.

Help us to make this, for those who need it,

be a season of Comfort.

Help us to create a Season of Comfort, for the lonely, the lost, the grieving, I pray.

Comfort your people. Please God, because you know, we sure do need it.

And maybe next year, we will add a comfort candle to the wreath–

Til then, comfort your people we pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Thanks to @byAndriaIrwin for the inspirational tweet

*note that the Hebrew word for this actually translates as God of many mounds, which means God of many worships spots (powerful/accessible) and God of many breasts/nourishing places. We have later shorthanded it as mighty.

Shannon A Thompson

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