Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Prayer

God who came as a baby,

We, the faithful, come to worship and to adore you. These last weeks, we have walked through Advent in search of new and different important meanings to find in this season. Now, we gather to celebrate the familiar. Now is the time for “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “The First Noel.” We sing the carols we have known since childhood.

We sing the familiar with assurance because we know what we will find: you, awaiting us in a manger, under a star.

We come with a strange combination of emotions. 2010 has been difficult. Friends are sick. We have lost loved ones. Family crisis has not spared us. Floods have touched us and those we love. We are older. Divisive political rhetoric continues to turn up the volume and the vitriol on both sides. We hurt, and we grieve. The longest war in our nation’s history rages on.

And yet… the sense of joy and expectation cannot be defeated. We hear the angels singing. We are ready to join them.

We come to you because love has come to us. We seek your presence with us because we come to worship you... to see your newborn face... to hear your infant laugh... to come, like shepherds, poor as we are, to offer our hearts. We thrill to hear the angels singing “Gloria in excelsis deo.”

We come to your manger expecting Jesus.

Our soft, introspective “O Little Town” and “Silent Night” match the majesty of Christmas Eve. Christmas morning, then, is a day to overcome, to rejoice, to celebrate. Christmas morning, we are poised to declare “Joy to the World.”

Jesus of the manger, we receive you as our king. We come because we know that joy has come to the world. We join the triumph of the skies.

We pray today in the name of a baby. Amen.

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