in the sparkling lights
and the surrounding decorations;
in the anticipation of children
and in the desire to please of older people;
You make known Your presence
in the season that surrounds us.
You sparkle with the possibility
of how Your Love will be expressed this year
as we repeat the treasured stories of faith
and find something we had never noticed before.
The Advent waiting for Your presence
might seem long and drawn out,
yet You use it
to teach those of faith
the importance of waiting and listening
that what might seem tired, old and out of touch
in the presence of Your Spirit
becomes vital, refreshing and of this moment.
God of rejoicing,
it is tempting to get lost in the moment
of wonder and excitement,
and to value only the relationship
we share with You
and those closest to us.
The sparkle and the decorations
are for more than this moment
for more than our eyes,
and with refreshed vision
You loving Lord,
take our attention to where we fail to look or respond.
Forgive us for our willingness
to be caught in the season hustle and bustle
that asks us to respond to our wants
rather than to our needs.
Forgive us that in our desire to be cheery
we ignore those who hurt
and feel lost and lonely
in a world that only seems to value glitz, glamour and excitement.
Forgive us when do not hear the Gospel story
of respect for others,
and think only of ourselves in what we say and do.
Lord of gentleness and strength,
calls to us from the wilderness,
offering the invitation to change,
and in Your love and forgiveness
the Holy Spirit
works amidst Your people
that Your gift of Love might be shared
in the words and action of Christ’s people.