“Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.”
This is the ancient form of prayer through Advent – the “stir up” prayers. When I hear them, I add my own prayers for things to be stirred up, particularly my doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.
Those three things are reminders from the Old Testament prophet Micah. Micah is also the prophet whose words we read at Christmas: “But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.”
How right it is that the prophet who foretells Jesus’ coming – the coming of a so-called king who upends all the understandings and expectations we have of a king – is also the prophet who reminds us that this journey with Jesus is not complicated.
Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with God.
Make no mistake, it is hard – but not complicated. The king who comes as a helpless infant helps us to see the simplicity of it, because the baby Jesus has the same needs as any other infant: clean diapers, food, and nurturing. Ask any parent: it’s not complicated, but it IS hard!
Ask anyone who lives into those hard but simple words of Micah, and they will tell you of the deep blessings that come amid the challenges.
May we seek those challenges, and share those blessings.
Stir us up, Lord.