Advent Prayer: Life Itself Is Grace …

But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.”
— Luke 1.10

God of fear,
God of the night,
God of the expectation,
You visited shepherds in the night
with songs and sights of joy.
In all of our nights, turn us
towards hope, because
hope might just
keep us alive.
Amen

— Pádraig Ó Tuama from Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community

 

If I dare to hear you
I will feel you like the sun
And grow in your direction …
— Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening

 

Those Words

They have been whispered…
for centuries, and handed down … generations

endorsed by sunrises, sunsets
and embodied under thunderstorms

fruited on winter trees …
and chanted by chocolates,

forested…
by faith

those same words…
now resounding … in my ear,

Don’t lose heart
— Sanober Khan from Turquoise Silence

 

Life Itself Is Grace

There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly… Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
— Frederick Buechner from Now and Then

 

Prayer

And so we take the ragged fragments,

the patches of darkness
that give shape to the light;
the scraps of desires
unslaked or realized;
the memories of spaces
of blessing, of pain.

And so we gather the scattered pieces

the hopes we carry
fractured or whole;
the struggles of birthing
exhausted, elated;
the places of welcome
that bring healing and life.

And so we lay them at the threshold, God;

bid you hold them, bless them, use them;
ask you tend them, mend them,
transform them
to keep us warm,
make us whole,
and send us forth.

— Jan Richardson from Night Visions

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