Keeping Vigil Over Joy

Advent: Keeping Vigil

On the second Sunday of Advent, Justin Fung reflects on how we keep vigil over joy in the midst of all that’s going on in our lives and in the world. [Luke 2:10]

Resources

Dallas Willard, The Great Omission:

“Joy is not pleasure, a mere sensation, but a pervasive and constant sense of well-being. Hope in the goodness of God is joy’s indispensable support.”

 

Jan Richardson, “Blessing for Waiting”

Who wait
for the night
to end
bless them.

Who wait
for the night
to begin
bless them.

Who wait
in the hospital room
who wait
in the cell
who wait
in prayer
bless them.

Who wait
for news
who wait
for the phone call
who wait
for a word

who wait
for a job
a house
a child
bless them.

Who wait
for one who
will come home
who wait
for one who
will not come home
bless them.

Who wait with fear
who wait with joy
who wait with peace
who wait with rage

who wait for the end
who wait for the beginning
who wait alone
who wait together
bless them.

Who wait
without knowing
what they wait for
or why
bless them.

Who wait
when they
should not wait
who wait
when they should be
in motion
who wait
when they need
to rise
who wait
when they need
to set out
bless them.

Who wait
for the end
of waiting
who wait
for the fullness
of time
who wait
emptied and
open and
ready

who wait
for you,
o bless.

Candle-lighting liturgy (courtesy of our friends at Vox Veniae)

Emmanuel, God with us,
Savior to captives and prisoners everywhere,
at the celebration of your birth
be with each lonely soul
exiled behind bars.

Emmanuel, God with us,
Savior to leaders and rulers everywhere,
at the celebration of your birth,
protect those with power
from temptations of tyranny and exploitation.

Emmanuel, God with us,
Savior to families and friends in pain,
at the celebration of your birth,
cheer spirits with your advent
in the darkness of every heart.

Emmanuel, God with us,
Key of David, who can unlock any door,
may we honor your birth
and find you in the faces of those we cherish,
and in those we do not know.

Emmanuel, God with us,
we light the second candle of joy,
and we celebrate your holy presence with us,

in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.