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Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

The First Sunday of Advent

 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14, KJV.

The word “advent” means “coming.” But the season is not merely a time to be marked off our calendars amid all our other holiday events. For what is this Advent but an invitation given to us from Isaiah’s prophesy: behold. Look at the miracle of the Incarnation. Christ put on the fragile garment of human flesh; He lived among us, being both God and Man; He suffered and died, and He promised to return. His coming, Advent, begs the questions, what does this mean to me? How do I behold Him?

As we pray through Advent, each week we will focus on one of four ways that Christ comes into our lives, beginning with His emergence into the world He created with a Word, as a helpless infant. May we watch and wait, and welcome Him with joy, allowing His presence to transform us.

My Father in Heaven,

Help me to slow down. So much is happening during the holiday season. I don’t want to miss You while I’m out shopping for gifts, going to parties, or even attending church to celebrate Your coming. I marvel at Your humility to leave riches and glory so profound I’m incapable of imagining them, for such a simple dwelling, the womb of a mortal woman. Give me the humility during this sacred time to reflect on my life, recognize my duplicity and, like your mother, open the whole of myself to You. Then I can watch and wait for Your salvation. Without you I can do nothing, including utter, with a since heart, the words that reflect the longing of the prophets,

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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