The people of Ancient Israel lived in a long season of despair. After their brief experience of power under the reigns of Kings David and Solomon the nation began a long, slow slide towards vulnerability. The military lost their might; the nation often struggled to retain their moral compass; the relationship with their God was frequently compromised.
“Despair” is defined as the loss of hope. The loss of national prestige and security tossed the nation into a protracted time of questioning. Where is God? Why is God hiding from us? Can we ever be forgiven for our sins? Will we ever know peace and security again?
What are the places where our nation and its people languish in despair? Are there places in which you struggle personally and we struggle corporately to have hope?
On this Second Sunday of Advent we turn to Isaiah 64:1-9 for a text which acknowledges the reality of despair and searches for new hope in the covenant relationship with God. We will celebrate Holy Communion together. We hope you can join us.
Prayer for Advent: God of the Waiting
God of the waiting, give us courage to wait with those in the most broken places of the world, and with all those who struggle to be bearers of hope there.
We pray with those who wait for wars to stop, for violence to cease. God of the waiting, turn conflict into peace. And we pray for those who have given up on the coming of hope, because they feel they wait in vain at checkpoints, at borders, for jobs, for food, and for all those whose lives are crushed under the structures and systems of injustice.
God of the waiting, wait with your world. Turn anger into reconciliation, and our lack of hope into courage, so that our waiting may be over and all the things of darkness shall be no more; in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
This Week’s Sermon – From Despair to Hope
Climate Change – From Despair to Hope
Race Relations in US – From Despair to Hope