The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

As autumn leaves anticipate snow, as harvest festivals shift toward the need for winter-warming, as Thanksgiving Day’s gratitude turns to Advent’s spirit of longing, we turn to you, O God.

We seek the blessing of the snow after long autumn rain. We seek the blessing of the cardinal after all others have migrated elsewhere. We seek the blessing of the wild goose whispering her way across a frozen sky.

The long nights settled in sooner than we expected, and now we find ourselves baptized in the blue of night by mid-day, the sky ago, “pine tree tops bend snow-blue” (Gary Snyder) toward the earth.

Give us a language with which to bless this season. Dark-green and berry red reminding us of your sweeping presence. Give us a language in which to pray for this unending season of global disruption: be in the places where decisions must be made (Can she join us? Should he quarantine? Can we fly there? Can they travel here?) and be with the global community as we face yet another variant.

We need your hope to buoy us, gird us, carry us. Receive us, arms wide open, searching. Receive us, bodies postured in prayer, longing for a way through. Receive us, searching the night sky beyond the Milky Way for you who has been nearer than our next breath all along.

Enlarge our imaginations, so that we might conjure a creative love. Expand our vision, so that we might establish paths of justice and connection for the lost, lonely, grieving, suffering and hesitant (which is each of us, at one point or another). Break forth like the dawn into the hardest places in our lives, so that we might be made new. Come, Emmanuel. Come.

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