Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 3 of Advent "give ear to my words"

Readings for Day 3 of Advent

"give ear to my words"

From Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD; *
consider my meditation.
Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God, *
for I make my prayer to you.

The psalmist calls out a rather modern prayer, "give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation," and prays that God might listen to his prayers.  Praying about praying.  As we move into the season of Advent, we might turn to God in prayer and prayer can take many forms.  There are the prayers that we issue in the form of words, such as the Psalmist often does.  "God give me grace!" "God give me patience!"  "God help me!"  "God, I am thankful for all that I have and all that I have."  Words are important, and when we can vocalize our prayers in words, our words become a part of us, and also can become praise and also hope for others.  Prayers of grace and thanksgiving before meals, prayers before a potentially difficult meeting, prayers for safety and a good effort before an athletic competition.  Do we have the courage to offer words of prayer?  Do we have the courage to offer prayers in a variety of contexts?  Do we have the courage to give word to our faith?  Do we have the courage to live out our faith in this way?  St. Francis is reported to have said, "Preach the gospel always, when necessary, use words." Absolutely, I agree.  It can be rather more difficult to live out a theology or a spirituality than it is to write or say a creed.  However, there are also times to speak words of prayer.  

Advent and Christmas can be opportunities for us to give voice to our faith, to actually speak up for "the reason for the season," and to remind people that Christmas is "Christ's Mass" and that it is a recognition of the Incarnation of God becoming Human in the person of Jesus, and also the way this Incarnation lives on today.

Do we have the courage to give voice to prayers that might offer thanksgiving and praise for the "reason for the season"?  I hope and pray that we do.

May Advent continue to offer you blessings,

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

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