O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Emmanuel. God. With. Us. Thank You Lord for the truth of this. No other god comes to us because of love for us.

And You, Lord, will be with us. We have the promise of seeing You face to face. Yet, Lord, today is that in-between time. We long for Your full presence, when there will be no suffering, no shame, no goodbyes.

And ransom captive Israel

We still need saving, Lord! Please save us today from ourselves–our selfish, greedy, basic sin nature.

That mourns in lowly exile here

Cast out. Away from Your presence. We are in this fallen land, and trouble engulfs us. For many, Christmas is anything but a time of joy. And even for You, Jesus, the manger was in the shadow of the cross. Thank You for being one of us, for understanding our sufferings.

Until the Son of God appears

What unspeakable awe–the Son of God with us. You have saved our souls; You have promised us a future with You; and You’ve given us life–now, today–with You in Your abundance.

Don’t let us squash that present in the midst of wrapping silly trinkets. As moms, influencing the attitudes of our homes and teaching our children with every little act we do, make our joy in You overflow.

As we change our homes, may we change our streets, our communities–Ft. Wainwright and Ft. Benning and Ft. Polk and Fort Bragg, Ellsworth and Eielson and Egland, Quantico and Monterey and Mayport and Norfolk, Kodiak and New Orleans and Annapolis–may they see Your glory this season!

May we not see Christmas as a to-do, but as a reminder of time with You.
May we not see work as a drudgery, punishment, but as a light-burden, a mission You have given us.
May we not be overwhelmed by all to come, but remember each day has enough trials of its own.

Lord, for our communities, we pray:

–for the illnesses plaguing many families
–for safety in traveling many miles, especially those PCSing in this season
–for grace to prevail in the homes, especially with returning warriors
–for those suffering loneliness, despair, pain–especially our veterans and soldiers. Lord, ransom them from the hell they find themselves in. Use us to rescue and save.
–for the many social events these days, show us how to reach out to people for You
–for our soldiers who are far from home this season. Hold them in Your arms, Lord.
–for our leaders, may they hear Godly wisdom

Lord we long for You!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!