Advent, Prayers for Pastors

Joy, no matter what

It’s dark, Lord, dark.
The days grow shorter,
the nights long and deep.

At the risk of sounding
like a show about Rudolph,
we wonder, are You coming?

And then we take it back.
Ten more days?
It’s not enough!
We can’t get it done.
So many demands
at church;
at home
too much for some of us,
not enough for others.
We are frayed, or lonely,
or frayed and lonely,
afraid we will not
do our best
for you.

Is the message prophetic?
Are the lights seraphic?

Is the tree watered?

Then a new worry.
Bitter winds blow,
ice and snow
leave us wondering
will there be church tomorrow?

Do we finish –
no, let’s be honest –
do we write
the sermon we planned?

Do we call it off?

Do we sing carols with
those who manage to arrive?

But You will arrive, Holy One,
You will arrive as Joy,
no matter what,

whether roads are closed
or pastors ill
or whole communities grieving,

for the budget meeting,
or the vestry consultation,
or the hard, hard funeral
that comes later.

Advent-Wreath-JoyYou will arrive
whether or not
we light the pink candle,
whether or not
we read Isaiah aloud,
whether the pageant is postponed,
or the cantata canceled.

Kindle your light of joy
in our hearts
for You are coming,
no matter what.

1 thought on “Joy, no matter what”

  1. That’s so true and good.

    It reminds me of a story I heard about a young lady who was talking with an older woman about why our Lord is real. The young lady held to her understanding that there was no way to prove that he exists, and so he must not. The older woman finally lost patience a bit and told her “whether you believe he exists or not, he does.”

    That was a whole new way of thinking about it for the younger woman, and she converted.

    I know it’s a bit early, but… merry Christmas!

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