Lord,

Your children are sick and dying from COVID. Their families feel helpless and grieve. They face financial ruin, living on the edge and wondering whether they will be pulled to safety or pushed over the brink. And they struggle with depression and its side effects of substance abuse.

But for too many of Your children, COVID is just one more thing piled on top of so many other things. People of color live with racial injustice that continues to fester. Children are abused in homes where they should be cherished. Parents are forced to watch their children grow up with  little hope of breaking the cycle of poverty. And too many do not know the reality of Your love that longs to enfold them.We have lost hope. Hope that things will improve. Hope that Your justice will prevail. Hope that hearts and lives will be healed.

Our prayer on this first Sunday of Advent when hopelessness is cascading out of control is very simple. Help us look ahead to Jesus’ birth and be filled with Your hope that resides in a babe who is Your gift of Yourself to our world.

We pray this hopefully in the strong name of Jesus.

Amen.