Prayer: Seeing the Signs (Luke 21)

Here’s a thoughtful prayer reflection on Luke 21:25-36, the suggested gospel reading for the first Sunday of Advent (Year C).  It was written by John van de Laar.

Prayer: Seeing the Signs
(inspired by Luke 21: 25-36)

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on the earth distress among nations….” Luke 21:25

It would be much easier, Jesus,
to ignore the hard truths around us:
the widening gap
between rich and poor,
the consistency with which the powerful
get their way,
the bending of rules and the self-enrichment
of the connected and influential,
the lack of adequate care, protection and resources
for the most vulnerable among us;
we would rather not see these signs.

It would be much easier if we could just pretend everything was alright,
if we could prophesy goodness and light,
and ignore the darkness and evil;
if we didn’t have to offend the status quo,
or challenge the comfortable;
if we could convince ourselves that the cross,
was just a one time thing –
your calling, not ours.

But, we can’t do this, Jesus, because we know too much;
your Gospel has captured us and opened our eyes,
and we have become slaves to love,
the love that must speak for the voiceless,
the love that must challenge injustice,
the love that draws lines of division
between truth and denial,
between compassion and expediency.

Give us the courage to acknowledge what we see,
to name the signs of the times,
to disrupt the ‘way things are’
in the name of what should be,
to divide in order to heal and restore,
and to be crucified for the sake of love.


— written by John van de Laar, from the website.  Used by permission.