On occasions it feels like we have been here before – uncertainty seems to be at the forefront of our thinking as we come to terms with what next regarding the pandemic. Some people are anxious, whereas others are frustrated by imposed guidelines and some have both responses at different times. There are no easy answers – there is not a get out COVID free card – our faith in a God who is with us does not make us immune to the varying emotions and feelings of sadness and frustration.


But we can take confidence that God is with us in the confusion. The nativity speaks of a God who comes and resides in the midst of the messiness of His world, even a stable in an occupied country – by being alongside us He reveals His love and in this we can take comfort.

A prayer we used in the online service on the third Sunday of Advent from Engage Worship helps me to articulate when I sometimes struggle for words and reminds me that God is alongside us and hears our cries.

God, you hear the calls, the cries, the voices raised, the silent whispered prayers.

Israel, in her exile, crying out for a messiah.

Elizabeth, in her barrenness, calling out for a son.

Shepherds, in their poverty, praying for a saviour.

Mary, in her innocence, searching for a safe place to give birth.

And still today the voices cry out.

In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, in China, in parts of our country where people suffer.

The homeless, in their vulnerability, asking for a welcome.

The rich, in their emptiness, longing for acceptance.

The lonely, in their busyness, crying for community.

The families, in their arguments, praying for peace.

God, you hear the calls, the cries, the voices raised, the silent whispered prayers.

Hear our prayers today, and help us, where we can, to be the answer to someone else's prayer.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

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