Lord over time,
To you, a day is like a thousand years,
And a thousand years are but a day.

To us, 2020 has seemed a thousand years.
A thousand years of disappointment,
A thousand years of loss,
A thousand years of injustice,
A thousand years of insecurity.

We can only turn to you and say,
“O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom us like captive Israel.”

All:   We mourn in lonely exile here,
         until the Son of God appear.

Our disappointments dwell deeply within us.

Postponed proms and graduations…
Would-be weddings and friendless funerals…
Missing family at sacred feasts…
Sanctuaries unfilled, unlit, unused.

We can only turn to you and say,
“O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom us like captive Israel.”

All:   We mourn in lonely exile here,
         until the Son of God appear.

Our losses linger alongside us.

Nursing home neighbors losing inspiration and energy…
Tearful farewells shared only through screens…
Strangers, acquaintances, grandparents, beloveds…
Illness, complications, doubt, death.

We can only turn to you and say,
“O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom us like captive Israel.”

All:   We mourn in lonely exile here,
         until the Son of God appear.

Injustice surrounds, encircling the least of these.

Black lives loved in heaven but devalued on earth…
Knees on necks, quieting calls for a mama…
Peaceful sleep, then in seconds, slaughter…
A Georgia jog, stopped short by a shotgun.

We can only turn to you and say,
“O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom us like captive Israel.”

All:   We mourn in lonely exile here,
         until the Son of God appear.

Insecurity abounds, overwhelming our abundance.

Hours reduced and vocations lost…
Elections contested and divisions multiplied…
Wondering where is the Light of the World…
Pining away for the Prince of Peace.

We can only turn to you and say,
“O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom us like captive Israel.”

All:   We mourn in lonely exile here,
         until the Son of God appear.

Come Quickly, Lord Jesus,
So one day once more, we can sing,

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come to us and Israel!

Amen, and amen.


Interim Synod Executive Chip Hardwick wrote this lament for use in the Synod’s virtual worship for the third week of Advent, December 13th.  

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