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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 28: A Prayer for Christmas Eve


Loving and Gracious God,
Today we have gathered to celebrate Christ’s birth and it is with joy and thanksgiving that we have moved through the wondrous events that have led us here.  We come before you at this holy time, grateful for the arrival of Jesus Christ.  Out of the busyness of our worlds and out of the darkness of our lives, we have seen a great light. We feel humbled and awed that you came to us not with great signs and wonders but as a babe who became a humble carpenter.  You took on human form, not with the trappings of power and might, but among common, lowly people, simply seeking to follow your leading.  Lord, may we be inspired this Christmas to do the same.  May we set aside our desire for power and might and instead humbly seek to serve others, to give back, with joy, a portion of all that we’ve received from you. 
     Lord, at Christmas the gift of our salvation is renewed in our hearts and in our minds.  May we embrace your amazing gift of grace by honouring you with our whole lives and seeking to live out the message of Christmas in all that we do and say.  And when we fall short of being the people that you long for us to be, we thank you for your willingness to forgive us.  May we too share that spirit of forgiveness by offering another who has offended us that same gift of grace.
     Lord, at Christmas sometimes our worries and concerns come into greater focus and so on this day we ask that the peace that has been promised to us through Jesus Christ be especially real to those who feel particularly overwhelmed by life’s challenges.  For those who face financial worries, we ask that you would provide.  For those who are suffering from grief due the loss of loved ones, we ask that you would provide comfort.  For those who are mired in conflict, we ask that you would provide a pathway to resolution.  And for those who are sick, either with physical illness or emotional pain, Lord, we do ask that you would send your healing touch.  For those of us who are enjoying comfort and peace, may we be inspired to reach out to another who is suffering during this season.
     Lord, even in the midst of our joy, we are aware that our globe is mired with sadness and unrest.  We know that even today, in the midst of Christmas celebrations, wars are raging, people are sick and hungry, and there is great sadness in many lands.  We are more acutely aware of the people in our world who lack basic human needs and ask that somehow in the midst of their hardship, they might still feel the love that we know you have for the whole of humanity. God, we do ask that you redeem our world that all might enjoy the fullness life that you have promised us. We bring these concerns before you and ask that the peace of Christ, which is our hope at Christmas time, permeate these regions.  May the love of Christ which flows out of the Christmas event, make an impact in even the places of our world in which we think there is little hope.  We pray Lord Jesus that your light, the light of the world, be that which illuminates the darkness which dominates so many corners of our earth.
God, our hearts are full of joy and celebration.  May our lives be a reflection of that joy in the world around us which hungers so deeply for your love.  May we rejoice with the angels and the shepherds and acknowledge with them that unto us is born in Bethlehem, Christ our Savior.  This is indeed good news of a great joy which has come to all people.  Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will to all.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.