For the next four weeks, we'll be reflecting on Advent in the daily devotions--extending the conversation from the sermons I'm preaching each week on how to: Give More, Spend Less, Worship Fully and Love All.
This morning I came across a prayer that was attributed to St. Francis, and it spoke to me as I step further into this Advent season:
Most High, Most glorious God, Enlighten the shadows of my heart. Grant me a right and true faith, A certain hope, and A perfect charity, feeling and understanding Of You. So that I may be able to accomplishYour holy and just commands. Amen.I don't know about you, but when I am waiting on God (like I seem to be right now during this season of expectation), I find that the "shadows of my heart" tend to tamper my sense of joy, and keep me from being expectant of God's abundance.
This prayer is so perfect because it speaks simply of our need for God in the middle of our moments of struggle. This is a prayer for faith that is seeking understanding--a desire for the overwhelming, abundant, more than enough presence of God.
It's this simple desire for more of God that leads us to live abundantly and fully with great joy and elevated expectations. This kind of light banishes the shadows and leaves us ready to live abundant lives.
Walter Brueggeman writes:
"We are recipients of enough and enough and more than enough, enough and enough and moire than enough to share. And to be glad in this Giver who keeps on giving... endlessly."May you pray St. Francis' prayer today with confidence and hope. May you seek God today and every day... May God reveal Godself to you in abundant and life-giving ways.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.