Advent is about waiting and preparing.
In recent years I have come to realize that this is not a time of mushy, sentimental waiting for the baby Jesus – but a time of waiting when one gathers strength and courage to encounter the adult Christ who calls us to lose ourselves in him and his mission.
In that spirit, I offer up Amy Carmichael’s poem “Make Me Thy Fuel” as a prayer during Advent.
Make Me Thy Fuel
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
~Amy Carmichael*, 1867-1951