Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and your Holy Spirit, be honor and glory now and for ever. Amen.
-from The Book of Common Prayer
I woke up early this morning with a mission to complete some gifts I was working on and send out the boxes before the post office closed today. This was finals week at school, and I hadn’t much time to work on presents and such, so I needed to make this a speed delivery to bring joy to my sisters scattered here and there by Christmas.
Before I started, I took some time to read a devotion called Christmastide, a collection of prayers to be read certain hours of the day. It was compiled by Phyllis Tickle, an author who has put together several books like this in a series called Divine Hours. I have this hidden desire to be a monk cloistered away praying all day, so I find ways to incorporate their lifestyle into my hectic suburban existence, and this book helps me follow some of their form.
As I read the above prayer this morning, I was revving up my spiritual engines, pleading, “Yes, God stir up your power!” And then I had to take my foot off the accelerator, as I crumpled with my head on the steering wheel of my life, confessing “Oh how my sin does hinder.” But his grace and mercy lifted my head. Speedily, Jesus helped me recover my composure, then I went rejoicing along with thanksgiving for all that he has and will deliver me from.
The advent of the Savior what a blessed event!