With Thanks for the inspiration from @lmcheifetz who pointed out we can’t pivot anymore.
If you find my work useful, please consider giving to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing https://gofund.me/70a114f9. It is a “working theologian’s” doctorate where I preach, write and share my work with the world all at the same time. If your church uses my work extensively and could use a receipt email me at katyandtheword at gmail and let me know!
This is a Meditative Worship for those who need Comfort over the Christmas Season. It may take place at anytime, even in place of Christmas Eve if service if that is (perhaps) too painful for you this year. You can do this without any supplies or with candle(s) to light. (If you have an Advent Wreath you may wish to light it up to the week you are at and add a Comfort candle)
A Prayer For an Empty Advent:
I’m reminded again
that it’s ok that Advent
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.
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.
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.