Inviting God to Come and Restore

Dec 6, 2017

This time of year I do a lot of looking back and reflecting on our work, as well as dreaming about what’s ahead. This year, I have a lot of positive feelings and a genuine gladness for what we’ve been able to be part of. Yet I also recognize that some of our work only exists because of broken systems and the deep pain in our world that make it difficult for many of our friends and neighbors to change the cycles they’re are caught in.

I love that we’ve supported hundreds of families who’ve needed food, given scholarship opportunities to youth to go to college, helped kids with reading and homework, created and maintained beautiful green spaces, cleaned up trash, handed out school supplies, and hosted neighborhood gatherings and celebrations.

But in recent days, we’ve heard of the death of a toddler after familial violence and the deaths of at least six people to heroin overdoses – all within blocks of where we live. The brokenness and pain of our world is on our doorstep in tangible ways.

Advent is a season of waiting, longing, and hoping. But I must admit, my hope feels really far away. And so I pray:

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

I lament the pain and brokenness on our streets and in our world in the forms of violence, addiction, injustice, and hate. And so I pray:

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From ev’ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow’r to save;
Bring them in vict’ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

We’ve intentionally simplified our work at The Simple Way over the past three years, and we’ve done a lot more listening. I hold anticipation for what is to come, and so I pray:

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. 

We could not – and do not want to – go this alone. Our work and life here takes friendship and partnership. And so I pray:

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

May you find ways to lift up your prayers of hope this Advent Season.

Caz Tod-Pearson


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