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Prayers of the People December 24, 2017 - Christmas Eve
We have gathered this night, God, in expectation. We have come under starlight, to anticipate the uniqueness of the birth that set in motion centuries of celebration. We have heard the ancient stories spoken again, the ancient harmonies raised; their promises renewed, for us and our lives.
We know our need of those promises, God. For like generations before us, we live in a world that fears the desperate acts of terrorists, that struggles with too much poverty, that reels with violence, that endures illness and anger, loneliness and longing, guilt, and sorrow. We have come together in recognition of our needs, and with the prayer that all our hopes and all our fears will be met in your loving embrace this night.
And you have come. This night, God, is most hallow’d among all nights, for it is the night when humanity and divinity intertwine in the birth of your Son, Jesus. We stand amazed that the age-old prophecies are realized in ways we never imagined. You’ve come to us in humility and the simple grandeur of a baby. We welcome the fresh new life born into our midst. We welcome the hope sprung up among us. We receive you tenderly tonight. You show us just how powerful, how enduring, how profound, innocent love can be.
Now, washed in the gentle glow of candles, lighted in honor of your coming, Christ, let us recognize that yours is the only light we hold against the darkness of the night. Let us take your light from here tonight and live by its glow in every succeeding moment. Show us that your light shines more truly and surely to guide us, than the flash and gleam of brighter lights. Let your light sustain us in all our moments of darkness and doubt. We have work to do, until through us, your light shines out to brighten all the world that you so dearly love.
This night is most hallow’d among all nights. We give you thanks and praise, God, for unto us this night, a child is born. Amen.
By Dr. Rev. Casey Baggott