Advent prayer

We suspect angels

Eternal God,
in the long ago days
when the earth was flat,
and heaven was above the clouds,
and disease was caused by demons,
your Son was born
to lighten all our darknesses.
We now, after the Enlightenment,
are in bondage to different limitations.
We doubt what we cannot prove;
we ignore what we cannot see,
and finding little room for faith,
we must confess,

We suspect angels
and disbelieve good news.

We admit ourselves
to be both infected and affected
by the spirit of our times.
Behind talk of world peace,
we hear the machinery of war;
beneath talk of global equality
we detect the posturing of the powerful;
beside talk of your Church being renewed,
we recognise the bondage to failed patterns of the past.
Rather than embrace the light,
we become fascinated by darkness,
and must confess,

We suspect angels
and disbelieve good news.

Ah God, who will save us?
Our cynicism is the fruit of our experience,
not the key to the future.
Our suspiciousness helps us to smell the rat,
never to recognise the dove.
Our perfect analysis may describe the mountain,
but is helpless to move it.
It is with little pride we must confess:

We suspect angels
and disbelieve good news.

As Christmas approaches,
give us a share of that divine naiveté
enjoyed by Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph,
and unnamed country folk,
who encountered angels,
and believed the Good News
and recognised Christ among them.



From Cloth for the Cradle, worship resources and readings for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Copyright © 1999, Wild Goose Resource Group (WGRG), c/o Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. Reproduced by permission.