Based on Luke 2:15-20
Eternal, astonishing God, what language shall we use to express the wonder of this season? We struggle to tell the extraordinary story of your birth among us, your walk among us, your place in our very midst, and in our own human form. Words seem to lack the grandeur needed to convey this story of grace and truth and so we tell it as best we can, over and over again, in glad songs, in shared dreams, in hands held, and visits made, in Christmas meals, in gifts given, and even in the offerings we bring here today, Lord. Let the Good News ring out among us in a thousand ways –bearing witness to our conviction that the story is ever fresh, ever true, ever needed to soothe the weary world.
Be with those this bright day, dear God, who struggle. Some struggles are of the body: illness, pain, weakness. We know that as you have made us, fearfully and wonderfully, so you might now lend a healing hand to those whose bodies need it. And some who struggle this day face struggles of the spirit: loneliness, regret, hopelessness, anger, bitterness, or sorrow. May the dawn of this day bring fresh beginnings to all those who wrestle with these things. May the promise of the Christ child’s birth outweigh every old remnant of anguish and offer to all in need of it, the healing assurance of your grace.
So many people and places across the face of the earth do need the Spirit of your Son today, God: from boardrooms to playgrounds, hospital wards to refugee tents. We pray that here and everywhere, with the coming of Christmas, a reign of hope, justice, peace, and righteousness may begin.
Let us be able ambassadors of Christ’s goodness to our world. Let us work willingly, offering our best for the Prince of Peace, until tyranny and terrorism are no longer threats, until power and might are ever tempered with love, until our lives tell the old, astonishing story as clearly as once the angel voices, shepherds’ calls, stable animals, wandering kings, and guiding stars did.
Hear our prayer today, God, offered with Christmas wonderment, and concluded with Christ’s own words, as we say together his prayer … The Lord’s Prayer.