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Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

The fourth Sunday of Advent

“And what I am saying to you I say to all: Stay awake! Mark 13:37 (NJB)

This fourth Sunday of Advent finds us only days away from the celebration of Jesus’ arrival on earth. Unfortunately, by now many of us are worn ragged: we’ve shopped, partied, gone to pageants, baked dozens of holiday treats, and visited the needy bearing alms. Rest sounds like the perfect antidote to so much activity, but scriptures exhort us: stay awake! At the end of every Advent prayer we’ve prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus.” But these words aren’t found in any of the birth narratives. They’re the parting words, just before the blessing, at the end of the book of Revelation. We must never lose sight of the fact that our Advent waiting occurs on two levels. Yes, we are waiting for the child who is God to be born in Bethlehem, but we are always to stay alert and prepared, watching for the risen Christ to come again.

Risen Savior,
 

You promised you would return in the clouds with power and great glory. Have I lost sight of the urgency of your second coming? Lord, have mercy on me, and give me the wisdom actively watch and wait for all the ways that you will come. By active, I don’t mean make me busier, Lord, but rather, help me to be present, in the moment, assured that now is the accepted time; today is the day of my salvation. In this very instant, make me ready to say “yes, and amen,” to every way you wish to present yourself to me.

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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