So I am watching quietly every day,
Whenever the sun shines brightly I rise and say
‘Surely it is the shining of His face,’…
Whenever a shadow falls across the window of my room
Where I am working my appointed task,
I lift my head, and watch the door, and ask
If He has Come.
‘Waiting patiently for God always includes joyful expectation. Without expectation our waiting can get bogged down in the present. When we wait in expectation our whole beings are open to be surprised by joy. All through the Gospels Jesus tells us to keep awake and stay alert. And Paul says, “Brothers and sisters … the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe. The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light” (Romans 13:11-12). It is this joyful expectation of God’s coming that offers vitality to our lives. The expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us is what allows us to pay full attention to the road on which we are walking.’
O God, you come to us in disguises,
In camel hair, eating locusts and honey.
God, you appear to us shouting on a street corner, “Repent!
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
We wait patiently for your arrival into this realm.
But have you already appeared in a disguise nearby?
Perhaps we have seen you in the face of the one begging
Or the one on the street corner pleading, “Help me!”
O God, strike in us a new beginning.
Help us to see you in our unhoused neighbour.
O God, make us expectant for your revelation.
Baptize us by fire.
Let us follow you into the wilderness,
Leaning unto the unexpected.
O God, guide us into the mystery of Advent,
Ready to discover you with surprise.
Whether we find you in a manger or in a shelter,
May we draw close to you.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
MY PRAYER today for us in this season of advent is for quiet expectation. How will God meet us today, and how will he find us, ready to recognise, and receive him? Are we preparing our hearts to welcome him? Are we aware of how he comes knocking, in a thousand different ways each day. Are we as ready to unwrap him in a stone, as much as in bread. Today I pray that would find ourselves surprised by the gift, within a gift, within a gift.
These are drawn from daily prayers and reflections I write for my chaplaincy colleagues.