Incarnate yourself into our hopelessness
After the wise men were gone,
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother,
O Come Emmanuel
the preferential treatment given
to the few who are wealthy and powerful and famous
leaves the rest ignored and neglected;
the desperate quest for more
leaves all of us feeling less, enjoying less;
the self-protective aggression we embrace to feel safe
leaves us and others wounded and frightened;
the apathetic disregard for the suffering, the grieving, the dying
leaves us disconnected from our own humanity,
from our ability to feel and to care.
We need our world turned upside down, Jesus;
We need our self-importance and self-sufficiency to be undermined;
We need a new way of being that is built on a whole new set of
Humble the powerful
and exalt the humble, we pray;
Fill the hungry with good things,
and keep the satisfied from taking even more;
Give us the wisdom to let a Child lead us
into a world of justice and love;
into the joy of sacrifice and service and simplicity.
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
O Jesus, crucified, have mercy upon me
Do you weep over my city?
let me practice pure religion
Prayers for Today A Yearlong Journey of Devotional Prayer
blessings of home
Bless those who have to live away from home
in lodgings and boarding-houses and hotels.
Bless those who have been left alone,
and who are solitary now.
Bless those who are searching or waiting for a house.
Specially bless young couples who have to live in furnished rooms,
or with relatives, and who have never had the chance
to be alone together and to have a home of their own.
Bless those who keep house for other people,
and who have no house of their own.
Bless old people who are coming to the end in some institution
which is very comfortable but which is still not home.
Help us who have the blessing of a good home
to keep an open heart and an open door
to those less fortunate than ourselves.
This we ask for your love’s sake. Amen.
from the Audenshaw prayers, UK
to see the human predicament
Cusp of midnight
God says soon
What Joseph needs now
God says not long
What the peacemakers seek now
God says hold your breath a little longer
What the hungry long for now
God says hush but a moment
What the poor yearn for now
God says, wait a little more
What the lonely hunger for now
God says shortly
What the forgotten thirst for now
God says presently
What the world aches for now
God says soon and very soon
Time is moving towards incarnation
justice is slipping into skin
peace is labouring
truth is taking human shape
Praise to God our King
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.