by Maria Kane
From the deepest exhale of your being, you brought forth creation.
We yearn for your Word to set us free —
free to laugh, to sing, to give thanks for the dawn of a new day.
May the oil of gladness flood the sorrow of our longest nights.
We long for the Light of the World to cast away
the hidden shadows of our lives.
Just as you calmed Mary’s fears and gave her a song of joy,
we give thanks that you give us new songs of hope.
We surrender ourselves to the Prince of Peace.
We confess that far too often we substitute
control and independence for faith and trust.
We need the Good Shepherd to show us the way.
In the face of violence and oppression,
we cling to your redeeming love to transform the world.
We give thanks for Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Now, grant us the courage of our convictions,
that we may be heralds of your love.
Maria Kane is an Episcopal priest, writer, and historian of American religion. This fall, she began she began serving as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Waldorf, MD. Her greatest joy is being godmother to her two young godchildren.
Credit: Advent/Christmas prayers by Maria Kane. © 2014 Alive Now. Permission granted to use in corporate worship settings. From November/December 2014 Alive Now. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room.
Emmaus helped me laugh again, and it brought joy back to my life after the loss of my child. I am now stronger than ever in my walk with the Lord. And to this day, I continue to sponsor pilgrims to The Walk to Emmaus. In my local church, I have led our discipleship team and have had the opportunity to start new Sunday school classes and various women’s ministries. ¡De Colores!”