God, you created this cold and dark time of waiting,
where the sun is far away and our part of the world sleeps.
Thank you for trees whose structural beauty is revealed in nakedness,
and for evergreens, giving us pleasure in this gray season.
Thank you for snow, blanketing the earth in white.
Thank you for all the animals, snug in their winter beds,
and for birds which are travelling from Canada to tropical places.
Thank you for the harvest whose stored bounty we still enjoy;
root vegetables, apples, and even spring’s harvest of maple syrup.
Thank you for the dark of night, and all the stars of heaven.
Thank you for the sound of the wind.
Thank you for warm houses and comfortable beds.
Thank you for winter.
Thank you for advent, this time of darkness where we wait for you.
This season we are particularly waiting for peace in the Middle East.
There is so much unrest and violence, from Syria to Gaza to Iraq…
God of grace, where is your Prince of Peace?
Help us to find our way in the dark,
give us light, give us leaders who can see the light.
Thank you for our government,
and for the political stability our country enjoys.
Give our prime minister and his government wisdom
as they make far-reaching decisions about foreign policy,
foreign aid and the environment.
There are also places in our own lives, where we walk in darkness.
Forgive us for the times where we have chosen darkness;
chosen cruelty, chosen meanness, chosen stinginess,
where we have not extended love where we had the chance.
Give us opportunities this week to apologize to people where we need to,
so that we can enter the Christmas season at peace with our families,
our co-workers, our neighbours.
For those among us who suffer from from sickness, grief, depression;
bring your comfort and healing love.
And now in this moment of silence,
we offer up to you the prayers of our heart, that only you know;
Thank you that you are Immanuel, God with us,
even in this dark season of waiting. Amen.