Prayers of the People December 29, 2019
Based on Luke 2:8-20 The Shepherds.
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 – and let our words and our very lives bear witness to our conviction that the story is ever fresh, ever true, ever needed to soothe the weary world, and bring it hope.
In this season, as we wonder anew about the old, old story, of heaven’s special bond to the earth, help us to note the characters who played their parts at the angels’ bidding … Joseph, Mary, the wise men, and the shepherds. Help us to appreciate the legacy of honest faithfulness and durable love that their lives have left for us. Let us, in memory of all those who first nurtured the Christ child, find our own ways to welcome him today, to protect his Spirit among us, and to further his work in our world. Like those who first welcomed Christ to the world, help us to reject harshness, to welcome the outcast, and to offer compassion and hope even when doing so asks more of us than is easily given.
We know the need of our world for the timeless Good News Christ offers, so let heaven and earth ring out with the message that your holiness, O God, is not a distant dream, but a living reality. A Child has been born to us to demonstrate that you do not simply watch us from a distance, but dwell with us, loving us all – from the greatest to the very least.
Let the bells ring. This is the season of Christmas. Let our joy be complete. The whole world rejoices, for its King has come – humbly and gently, as a fragile little child. 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.