The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

God our Advent hope, we await your Spirit made known in the Christ child, even as we see your ever-present spark spread across the start of this day. You are found infinite within the finite, unchanging within the urgency for change, giving birth as much as pouring forth. Be in solidarity with us in every joy and struggle. Unite with us in this time and place, so that we might know in a new way your peace that passes understanding, your joy revealed against the grain of this season. There is no other way; we can only find you within this life, within our lives, within the textured beauty and impossibility of earth-y existence. Show up for us. Let us know you. Heartbeat and breath reclaiming the rhythms of your presence.

Hear our prayer for those who witnessed tornado alley extending far beyond its conventional track on Friday night; sturdy trees snapping like twigs, night shift trapped beneath concrete, crumpled in the hands of the wind. We cannot understand and yet we know. Be with the haggard and hobbled, those who will for many months and years piecemeal and try to put their lives back together, all the pieces rearranged and missing. Lord hear our prayer.

And hear us within our own lives. Each of us seek from you something essential this day: a spirit of forgiveness when anguish is our fault or theirs, a decipherable mending of my heart or yours so that we might live anew in the gift of friendship and family, anchored by one another. We need each other O God. Let us reclaim the gift of company. Let us softly awaken to what is possible. Mend us. See us. Set your vision in our midst. Imagine for us the way of peace. Make straight in the desert a highway. Prepare a way through the wilderness. Advent us, O God. Wait within us. Prepare us. Awaken us. And hear the longings of our hearts as we offer up our own prayers in faith and in silence… .

And now let us gather our voices together praying, Our Father… .