Grace and Impatience

I have been looking for the following prayer. Recently, Kevin Strickland a fellow Lutheran pastor posted it on his Facebook page.  It speaks to my soul. It touches the dark recesses of my being. It speaks to the yearning of this season.

“The Grace and the Impatience to Wait”

“In our secret yearnings we wait for your coming, and in our grinding despair we doubt that you will. And in this privileged placed we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we and by those who despair more deeply than do we. Look upon your church and its pastors (ministers) in this season of hope which runs so quickly to fatigue and this season of yearning which becomes so easily quarrelsome. Give us the grace and the impatience to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes, to the edges of our finger tips. We do not want our several worlds to end. Come in your power and come in your weakness in any case and make all things new. Amen.”
~An Advent prayer from Walter Brueggemann
Taken from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth

Grace   This is where I find myself during this season. It may sound dark and hopeless, but in fact it is the strongest hope I will ever know. As I see and hear the pains that quietly lurk just below the surface of people’s lives during these holy days, I am hopeful that the second coming of the baby Jesus will deliver us from all the pain and despair our world experiences. When I watch homes and business burn to the ground in East Tennessee and, refugees escaping the violence of Aleppo, and Native Americans who have to take another stand to protect their way of life one more time, I see hope in the Christ Child. I recite to myself that part of the Nicene Creed – “We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come,”and I pray that part of the Lord’s prayer – “on earth as it is in heaven.”

This time of year I am reminded of the powerful message that the church is given by God to deliver. It speaks to the darkness. It proclaims against all odds and despite every desperate reality. It defies illness and death. It looks into the eyes of the poor, homeless, and hungry. It addresses the addicted and the imprisoned. It yells out to the outcast children. It screams from the cold fields of Bethlehem. It announces to the world. I am the Lord of All and I have come to deliver you.

Come Lord Jesus! Come!
In His Service
Pastor Bob