Gordon-Conwell Blog

A Prayer from an Unbelieving People | An Advent Prayer

December 22, 2012

Amy Gilbaugh

We are not a people of easy trust.
Our vernacular is not embedded with belief,
And kept promises are a foreign culture.

Broken promises have been our lot;
Daddies who hurt,
Mommies who leave,
Friends who abandon.

Even we Christians can name our own;
Churches that split,
Pastors who keep secrets,
And others who don’t keep ours.

We are fragile and unready to believe.
Promise broken after promise broken,
Believing seems a fool’s pursuit.

But …

We have heard You called
The Promise Keeper.
And we’re desperately curious to know why.

We have heard of a promised heir lying on the altar,
And the sacrifice You provided instead.
Promise kept.

We have heard of a promised rescue of a believing whore,
Hanging on a scarlet chord from her window.
Promise kept.

We have heard of a promised land flowing with milk and honey,
And the desert-worn path that led Your people home.
Promise kept.

And …

We have heard of another promise.
One we hardly dare whisper,
For fear it will slip from our lips with a shatter.

But it is a promise that You—
You, Yourself—
Will come.

And in the dark night of waiting,
Against our best logic and with our last shred of hope,
We whisper, “we believe.”

We still,
We are silent.
Lips pursed tight,
Eyes squeezed shut,
Ears pressed to the ground.

Night is all around us,
And we’re waiting for Your great Dawn to come up on us.
The darkness has been our dwelling place,
and we need Your crashing light to come and break through.

And we wait.

We gather ourselves and shuffle over to see the horizon.
Peering into black, there is no telling
If we see the distant line,
Where heaven meets earth,
Or only five feet from our faces.

And we wait.

Would you come, O Light of the world?
Would you cut through the black mass we know as night?
Would you break in, break through,
Our darkness,
Cut through our silence,
And come?

We wait.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: advent devotional , Author: Amy Gilbaugh , student blogger

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