As the calendar has unfolded this Advent season I have ended up preaching and presiding at the Lord’s Supper twice and have been struck by the ways the themes of both Advent and Communion overlap. This Advent we are invited anew to participate actively in remembering Jesus’ work on earth by following in his example. As we do so, we hope for a future in which God’s Kingdom comes in all its fullness even as we recognize the ways God’s kingdom has already broken into our world. Active remembrance and hope in a future which is already realized in part right here and now! As we turn the page into the Season of Christmas my we take up anew the invitation to be incarnational, to show up, to be the face of Christ to others, even as we see Christ revealed in them.
Caryl Micklem was an English pastor who served congregations in the United Reformed Church in England as well as in congregational churches there. He also wrote prayers and hymns. My we join him in the prayer below which sums up my sentiments this Advent and my hopes for all of us!
An Advent Prayer
Lord God, we adore you because you have come to us in the past.
You have spoken to us in the Law of Israel.
You have challenged us in the words of the prophets.
You have shown us in Jesus what you are really like.
Lord God, we adore you because you still come to us now.
You come to us through other people and their love and concern for us.
You come to us through men and women who need our help.
You come to us as we worship you with your people.
Lord God, we adore you because you will come to us at the end.
You will be with us at the hour of death.
You will still reign supreme when all human institutions fail.
You will still be God when our history has run its course.
We welcome you, the God who comes.
Come to us now in the power of Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Caryl Micklem, “Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship”