I'm enjoying an app for my phone called Magnificat Advent 2013 (they also have one at Lent). It allows me to refocus on the meaning of Christmas at any point in the day - whether it's in the morning when the day's tasks ahead seem daunting, or in the middle of the afternoon when my energy lags, or in the evenings when the busyness of the day fades into quiet and I find myself restless or unsettled. The words to the hymns, readings, and Scripture reign in my wild thoughts and feelings and point me back to what it means to live in this limbo period of waiting for His coming. Because I didn't grow up in a liturgical church, I missed out on the rich tradition of deliberately preparing my heart and mind for the impact of the Light of the world entering our darkness, changing EVERYTHING - not just at Christmas, but for when He returns and makes all things right... forever. Here's a section of today's reading.
"Come, O Lord, in beauty!
To those who have lost hope -come in faithfulness to your promises.
To those who have lost sight of any goal but material gain - come bearing the gift of true life.
To those who think you long ago and far away - come in the experience of the present.
Near is the great day of the Lord, near and very swiftly coming. (Zephaniah 1:14)
Come, light our souls in constant flame
to scatter darkness by your Name.
O Jesus, through this passing night,
Let your salvation be our light.
Like virgins with their lamps in hand,
we watch for you as here we stand.
With oil of hope and lasting fire,
We trust in you, our one desire.
Make haste, O Lord, for your return;
Until that time may lamps still burn.
O Father, Son and Spirit blest,
We offer praise in watch and rest."
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the light of God's face to us in the long night of Advent. Shine on us in darkness while we await in hope the dawning of your coming day, who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.