Friday, December 2

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
    Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
    so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than those who watch for the morning,
    more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
    from all its iniquities.

Psalm 130 (NRSV)
(For use with the EVENING Daily Prayer)

We often try and reach perfection during Advent. Even before the season begins, we’re bombarded with advertising about how we can make this Christmas the picture perfect one.  Yet it’s not the kind of perfection that we need. We want the perfect decorations, perfect tree, perfect gift, and perfect meal. We think that everything being just right will make this season the best one yet. But more often than not, the tree doesn’t quite fit the room, half of the light strand goes out, the cookies burn, and you can’t seem to find the one toy on the top of the Christmas list. We think this perfection will fulfill us and the lives of those around us.

But we aren’t perfect. We’re a broken people in a broken world. Striving for perfection can distract us from the true pain of not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. We are reminded that even with our imperfections, God still hears our cries. There is no way for us to ever be perfect. We will always have parts of our lives that aren’t what they should be. The beauty of not only this text, but the whole Advent season is that God loves us enough to send his only son to redeem us. It can often seem like an impossible The catch is that it’s not on our time, though often we get into our head that it can be.

The Christmas season can often seem like a waiting game. Kids wait to get out of school for break and the arrival of Santa. Parents wait in long lines and mall traffic to get presents for friends and family. We all wait in long lines at the post office to make sure our loved ones far away get their gifts in time. There’s time traveling, cooking, preparing the house, and every other small detail that makes this season what it is. Even with everything that takes up our minds during this busy time, we’re still waiting.

Much like a child on Christmas morning, we are reminded that our waiting does come to an end. Christ does arrive and washes clean the sins of us and our world. We are blessed with the gift of redemption and forgiveness not only now, but until the kingdom comes. The psalm reminds us that this gift is guaranteed. We know it will be there for us. We don’t have to worry about the store being sold out or waiting in line for days. God’s love and compassion for us is abundantly given. We only need to trust in His word to know that we will receive it.



A Prayer for the Sixth Day of Advent

Dear Lord, We ask for patience during this joyful season. Patience with others, patience for ourselves, and patience with you. Help us to understand that while we might not see it, your plan is unfolding just how it should.  Be with those who’s impatience is wearing them down, who may not be able to see the big picture that you have for us.

Thank you for all the gifts that you have given and continue to give us each and every day. Continue to be with us during this time of waiting and until your kingdom comes. Amen.


Hayley Mathews
Alumni Office Program Associate
and Development Coordinator
Richmond, VA


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