I am privileged to meet with ALL the congregations on Sundays. Last Sunday, I was speaking at Frankford Ave. It was lively! I even liked “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (even though I hate it, generally). People started dancing! It is Advent with Circle of Hope.
One of my favorite parts is happening in the picture above. Jenna is helping us pray an Advent prayer from Henri Nouwen. Like Jenna is shaded in the picture, Nouwen often felt like darkness was shadowing his life. I think that is why his books and prayers mean so much to so many people. So many Christians pray like God expects them to have it all together. Nouwen prays like he definitely does NOT have it together. I can relate to Nouwen.
Try this one on for yourself!
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Come celebrate with us on Christmas Eve. We keep vigil together right up until the midnight, the minute we can mark that Jesus came to save us from sin and death, and to throw back the shadows of our personal darkness. Come, Lord Jesus!