Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Wait for You to Ache - Walter Brueggeman

I had planned to use this post later in the season, when we came to the winter solstice, but based on the events in Connecticut yesterday, I thought that it might be helpful to bump it up to today. Many nights are dark in our world today. May we find helpful ways to be about bringing the light of Christ to those in need.

The traditio
n of holding a Longest Night service may be a new one in many communities, but it touches on what must certainly be a long standing need in the midst of the holiday season. Held on the night of the winter solstice - the longest night - Christians come together to mourn those they have lost since the last holiday season, to acknowledge that Christmas is not always a merry season for all of us, and to sit in prayer together through the pain that can come in the midst of joy.

This prayer by Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman is not necessarily an Advent one, but it touches on the waiting and the longing that we hear in the biblical witness and that we remember on this longest night.

With the energy we have,
            we begin the day,
            waiting and watching and hoping.
We wait,
            not clear about our waiting.
But filled with restlessness,
            daring to imagine
            that you are not finished yet -
            so we wait,
            patiently, impatiently,
            restlessly, confidently,
            quaking and fearful,
            boldly and daring.

Your sovereign decree stands clear
            and we do not doubt.
We wait for you to dissolve in tender tears.
Your impervious rule takes no prisoners,
            we wait for your to ache and hurt and care over us
            and with us
            and beyond us.
                        Cry with us the brutality
                        grieve with us the misery
                        tremble with us the poverty and hurt.
Attend to us - by attending in power and mercy,
            remake this alien world into our proper home.

We pray in the name of Jesus of the utterly homeless one,
           even Jesus.

Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. Fortress Press, 2003.

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