God of night and day, be with us as we journey this Advent. Teach us to linger awhile in your presence, as we long to celebrate your coming. The world around us is moving so fast but you call us to quietly walk in wonder. Captured by the generosity of your love, we wait with hope. You chose to come to earth to help us draw near. You did not stop to count the cost that your son would one day pay to save us. You just opened your heart wider to bring us close.

Lord, we cannot fathom the depth of such faithfulness. There isn’t a star in the sky as bright as the light of your love. You envelop us in the warmth of your compassion, so we might find rest. Still our minds, O God, and help us to pause and simply be with you.

In this season of rushing, help us to slow down and breathe. Lift our spirits as our beloved carols are sung. There is no one like you, Emmanuel, who can bring us to shouts of joy and tears of exaltation. Guide us by night and by day travel to your manger. We trust that you will return, O Prince of Peace. In this mean time, we will celebrate with thanksgiving the gift of your presence in the past as we look toward the hope of your coming again.

Pour the strength of your Holy Spirit within us as we wait for you. Ignite our desire to share the JOY you offer us. Amen.

-Pastor Maria