Holy and beautiful Spirit,
In this first week of Advent, we are longing for peace.
Our hearts hunger for peace in our families, peace in our neighborhoods and cities, peace between nations, peace for our mother earth, peace in the quiet depths of our own souls.
Parts of us feel raw, Lord. We are ripped open by the painful divides we’ve faced this year – violence on our streets and in our conversations toward each other. We’ve had friends complete suicide, and members of our family sentenced to prison. Some of our families were newly cracked by divorce or the agreement finalized. One of the dearest people to us died, and others of us passed that pivotal one-year-anniversary. We had to leave the house we loved because our job relocated or the money wasn’t there anymore. We uncovered a shocking revelation about someone we loved, and we weren’t sure what to do or who to trust.
Our greatest fears have actualized before our very eyes, and groans and tears became a new language. The landscape of life forever changed…
This year has racked us, God.
And so the peace for which we long this Advent season, Lord, is the peace that holds us in wholeness when we’re carrying grief or heartache or chaos or tumultuous questions. When what’s most precious to us was swept away in one, swift wave, or the world’s teeming with so much noise and busyness we can’t hear ourselves think.
We ask you, Spirit of Advent hope, to blow a breath of balm upon the wounds. To lead us in our risk to trust you, and in that risk, experience healing. May your breath bring peace that passes understanding as it strengthens our bodies, renews our minds, and heals our land.
We thank you that peace is not a dream, but a promise.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Giver of Peace. Amen.