Prayers of the People
—December 4

As frost gathers and we welcome snow, O God, we stand fragile and small before your throne.

We take comfort as a mighty chorus sings of Mary, the one who was to radiate your glory, for like us, she was vulnerable to the troubles of this mortal world, and yet you called her to utter praise, to bellow the melody of your love-come-down-to-earth.

May we too, sing sweet lullaby to pronounce your presence, may we chant and hum, whistle and cry out, O God, that you have done great things for us.

Even this week, even this morning, we have seen an echo of your peace in the comfort of a friend, and a reflection of your glory in the unspoken tenderness of a partner.

In this dry and weary land, where souls thirst for a new way, we still see a glimmer of hope, life made new, in the halls of hospitals and the halls of congress, in the halls of high schools and the hallways of our homes.

We pray for every person who struggles toward new life: for loved ones suffering before our eyes, for the places where fear and mistrust dominate the rhythm of community, for the people most impacted by acts of violence gone unseen by the watchful eye of the media.

Let us pray more boldly this season—that more life might come, that your love might radiate across the halls of our lives.

Let Mendelssohn bridge the gap between life and prayer, interrupting our preconceptions about this season.

Let us notice your promised arrival. Empty us of angry judgements and aching disappointments and anxious trying.

Breathe into us something resembling quiet and confidence, that the lion might lie down with the lamb, and the upside-down kingdom of God might welcome a child to lead us.

Catch our pride and doubt off guard, O God, at least for a moment, so that we might be tuned to the cadence of your love.

And surprise us by that sudden joy that rises up within us now, so that as lungs fill with air, and our breath turns to song, we might be sustained as we await your presence with us in word and flesh.

Wrapped in the melody of your incarnation, O God, we lift up our voices together praying the prayer that Jesus teaches us, saying…