Closing prayer from Grace Church

February 14, 2011

We are all waiting, Lord.

Some of us are waiting for minor things
that only trouble the corners of our minds from time to time.
Some of us are consumed by waiting, unable to live fully
until our hopes and fears are resolved.

None of us knows how things will turn out…
but we know that you do.
but we know that you love.

How do we know how to be faithful, when we don’t know how things will work out?
How do we prepare?
What will we do in the meantime?
Will it make a difference to what happens?
Should we prepare for the best or the worst?
Can hope and faithfulness encompass both outcomes?

None of us knows how things will turn out…
but we know that you do.
but we know that you love.

How do we wait serenely, when our imaginations get in the way?
How do we wait for God to act, without cooking up strategies for self-defense?
How do we accept uncertainty?
How long should we be prepared to wait?
How do we fill in the time, without wasting it?

None of us knows how things will turn out…
but we know that you do.
but we know that you love.

How long does faith last when nothing happens?
Why do we expect answers within a certain time?
Why do we think the answer will be different, if it doesn’t come when we expect it?
Do we think that delay means something has gone wrong?
Can we think that delay means something is growing, like a flower,
or cooking, like a cake?

None of us knows how things will turn out…
but we know that you do.
but we know that you love.

We are all waiting, Lord
in hope and in fear,
but the difference is often in ourselves rather than in our prospects.

When heaven is silent and earth is noisy,
help us not to be distracted or misled.
Help us to be active shapers of the future we long to see.

Even if we cannot make the future,
we will prepare its place.
Even if we cannot cook the feast,
we will lay the table and invite the guests.
Even if we cannot sing the song,
we will make the silence in which it will be heard,
Even if we cannot see the dawn yet,
we will live by the light that we have.

We will remember the stories
of how you rewarded those who dared to wait.
We will wait in the knowledge
that waiting is not in vain if it is waiting for you.

You are the one who holds our future.
You are the one who was, and is, and will be.
Walk with us tonight, and for ever.

amen

[There is an original source, but I will always associate it with an Advent service conducted by parishioners from All Angels, December 2010, where we read it responsively.]

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