This prayer, written by Josh Matejka, was read on the first Sunday of Advent.
You are creator of all things, seen and unseen. With a thought, you separated the day from the night. Galaxies explode in reaction to your glory. Stars shine the reflection of your perfect light to every corner of the universe. Every corner of every comet; every center of every star; every fiber of creation pulses and moves to the rhythms of your grandeur.
The wind blows the trees, which bend to your might. The waters rage as testament to your power… then still at the sound of your voice. Every drop of rain and every ray of sunshine falls where you dictate. Every creature in its place paints a picture of your wisdom and vision. In all ways, you show us the great beauty of your nature.
With your breath, you gave us life. And with that same breath, we turned from you. Chose a love less faithful, less beautiful than yours. We decided we were better off without your perfect loving grace.
And now, we feel the consequences of our choices. All of creation, from the fields to the waves, the beast and steward: they groan under the weight of sin. They cry out to their Creator: “Father, have mercy on us! Come quickly! Make us whole! Make us new!”
God, we confess that we have turned from you. In our short-sightedness, we have corrupted your perfect world. You commanded us to savor your creation, to enjoy its fruits, to care for each other. Instead, we have caved to our sinful desires. We take that which we think we deserve, all without a thought to how it came to us in the first place. We hoard your gifts and gorge ourselves to the point where there is no room for your love and compassion to fill us instead. Forgive us, oh God of creation! Make us whole! Make us new!
But, God, giver of great mercy, all is not lost! We live in this broken world, full of decay, full of tragedy, full of hate. But praise you, God, we are not of this world! For we have a hope, a hope that permeates all we do and say. In darkness, we cling to this promise:
The new creation is coming. You are making us new.
The waiting is painful God, and if it be your will, relieve our pain! Change our hearts that we would take the gospel to every corner of the earth. Let the love of your son Christ Jesus fall onto every accepting heart. Soften those hearts who have hardened to your voice. God, you have enabled us to be bearers of light, reflections of yourself in a world so desperately lacking the love and grace you gave us so freely, so undeservedly through Jesus Christ.
And God, as we wait for the day of final redemption, as you shape us to make us more like your Son, open our eyes to the glimpses of the new creation, the perfect world you are forming. Every loving interaction; every beautiful sunset; every moment of significance is a glance into the culmination of your plan for this perfect world. Where the lion will lay down with the lamb; where death will be beyond memory; where every tear will be wiped away.
God, we hold onto this hope and promise, born of your undying love for us, a love that cannot be broken by any powers that may be, a love that endures beyond time and life itself. Remind us of this love, this promise. Remind us of the new creation as we lament the old. And as we wait for the fulfillment of your work in us, remind us above all:
You are making us whole! You are making us new!