First Sunday of Advent


by Cynthia Langston Kirk

Lighting the First Candle

On unknown paths we wait for birth. Filled with fear and wonder, our excitement and imagination can barely be contained. This first candle of Advent illuminates our expectant waiting, shining the light of Hope on all trepidation and chaos. We light this candle as a sign of God’s hope in a hope-famished world.


God, Light in the Darkness, shine upon our hearts and lives, helping us see shadows and the many ways we perpetuate injustices. Allow us to see the tender buds of hope breaking forth in all people, especially those with whom we differ. Keep us watchful in our waiting that we do not miss your redeeming work. Keep us mindful that you are with us, reconciling the world through your mercy and power. Amen.

Cynthia Langston Kirk is a poet and a minister living in Tucson, Arizona. Cynthia and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and godchildren. Read more of her writing at

Credit: Advent/Christmas prayers by Cynthia Langston Kirk. © 2012 Alive Now. Permission granted to use in corporate worship settings. From November/December 2012 Alive Now. Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room. 

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