the story room

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oh, come...

Throughout this season of Advent, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to anticipate the coming of Christ.

Through my growing-up years, I had been pretty good about remembering the first coming of Jesus, and I still often find myself marveling at the mystery of God taking on humanity and dwelling among us. And as I've gotten older and become increasingly aware of my own depravity and brokenness, I've also grown accustomed to longing for Christ to continually come to my life - to me - healing me and making me whole. This year I am still deeply aware of those comings of Christ, but I am also finding within myself now a longing for Christ's return that is so acute that sometimes it hurts.

This past week I've been working through the morning and evening prayers I've found in the Catholic book of Christian Prayer: the Liturgy of the Hours. What I've been especially struck by are the intercessory prayers of both morning and evening, refraining, "Come, Lord Jesus!"

With my own brokenness and the frailty of those I love before me, remembering those I've loved who have died and are dying, longing for things to once again be the way they're supposed to be, and filled with the hope and joy of Emmanuel's first Advent, I deeply and sometimes painfully long for the fulfillment of my prayer - more than that, the Church's prayer - that He will come back to us soon.

Until then, as I wait in faith and cling to hope with my brothers and sisters, I find myself praying prayers like these, and taking them up into my life:

Jesus Christ is the joy and happiness of all who look forward to his coming. Let us call upon him and say:
Come, Lord, and do not delay!
In joy we wait for your coming,
come, Lord Jesus.
Before time began, you shared life with the Father,
come now and save us.
You created the world and all who live in it,
come to redeem the work of your hands.
You did not hesitate to become man, subject to death,
come to free us from the power of death.
You came to give us life to the full,
come and give us your unending life.
You desire all people to live in love in your kingdom,
come and bring together those who long to see you face to face.

(from December 17 evening prayer)


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