Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Open our Eyes - an Advent Prayer

The Iona Community in Scotland has created some of the most beautiful and yet challenging worship resources for the church today. Consistently challenging our assumptions and yet connecting with the eternal truths of faith and the divine, their Advent and Christmas resources find that perfect place between remembering the coming of Christ in the past and a vision or the future when Christ will come again. We will hear their voice throughout this season, but in this first week of Advent I offer you their prayer for open eyes.

Open our eyes, Lord,
especially if they are half shut
            because we are tired of looking,
or half open
            because we fear to see to much,
or bleared with tears
            because yesterday and today and tomorrow
            are filled with the same pain,
or contracted,
            because we only look at what we want to see.

Open our eyes, Lord,
to gently scan the life we lead,
                        the home we have,
                        the world we inhabit,
and so to find,
among the gremlins and the greyness,
signs of hope we can fasten on and encourage.

Give us whose eyes are dimmer by familiarity,
a bigger vision of what you can do
even with hopeless cases and lost causes
and people of limited ability.

Show us the world as in your sight,
riddled by debt, deceit and disbelief,
yet also
shot through with possibility
for recovery, renewal, redemption.

And lest we fail to distinguish vision from fantasy,
today, tomorrow, this week,
open our eyes to one person or one place,
where we  - being even for a moment prophetic -
might identify and wean a potential in the waiting.

And with all of this,
open our eyes, in yearning, for Jesus.

On the mountains,
in the cities,
through the corridors of power
and streets of despair,
to help, to heal,
to confront, to convert,
O come, O come, Immanuel.

Cloth for the Cradle: Worship resources and readings for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany, Iona Community, Wild Goose Worship Group, 1997.

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