This prayer, written by Tyler Eads, was read on the second Sunday of Advent. Father, our father, who is perfect in all His ways, who knows no deceit or falsehood, whose righteousness and perfection and holiness is a blazing, white hot consuming fire--You are the author and originator of justice. Your works and acts and judgments all flow out of a passion to ensure that Your holy justice is carried out, that Your reign and kingdom are firmly established. You love nothing more than You love Your Glory. Being magnified throughout the universe, in nature and in Your people, is the foundation for every righteous act of Yours, for every plan of Your sovereign will. Our greatest good, our most glorious hope, is seeing our Father glorified. Yet time and time again we forget. We are so easily lulled to sleep by the passions of this world, by our own selfish interests, by the allure of trinkets and achievements. We trade Your glory for lesser things, things that can never satisfy. We perform our rote religious rituals without considering that You, oh Lord, have said in Your word that You desire justice.
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Our hearts are prone to wonder, Father. At our best, we long to do justice and see it come to life in our city and in our hearts. But at our worst, our pride turns gospel vision into a myopic apathy. Like spoiled children we cast aside Your commands and Your example for a "what about me" mentality. We don't care about our neighbors or coworkers and, honestly, we don't often care to know them. That takes work and our precious time.
Father, we see often and clearly that our hearts are evil and shallow and afraid. Won't You rend our hearts; won't You take our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. Oh Father, we long for the Day of Lord, that day when You will come and set right all the things that we have set wrong, when You will avenge Your saints, when You will bind the broken, when You heal the afflicted. We long for Your coming when Your Justice will reign, when every knee will bow in submission and in proclamation that the Glory of our Great God is very reason we exist. We long for that day when, in You, we will live and move and are completely satisfied. And so we pray, Come, Lord Jesus. Won't you come!