Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Prayer

God of the Circle...
God who was and is and is to come, the Alpha and the Omega, the One with no beginning and no end.
We gather here as one year draws to a close and another year begins.
This Christmas draw the circles of love in our lives close around us.
As the cycles of the year to come go around may we carry with us the joy and hope that comes from knowing that we are a part of Your circle of love,
may we carry with us the promise of the child who is called Emmanuel, God-with-Us

God of the Evergreen...
Already the winter seems long and the snow is deep.
The green growth of spring seems so far away.
And yet we look for life.
God of life, you gave Isaiah a vision of flowers blooming in the desert.
You give us the evergreen, which defies the ice and cold of winter.
In this Christmas season may we see the life that breaks out where we least expect it:
a baby born to a virgin, green growth in the snowbank, flowers in the desert.
And, having seen that life, may we be those who share the word of hope, the promise of life, with all we meet.

God of the Holly...
Needle sharp prickles, blood red berries, bitter tasting bark –
the Carol tells us that the holly bears all these things.
We know that every Christmas comes with struggle and sorrow for some people.
We pray with and for those who find it hard to be merry this Christmas,
those for whom Joy and Peace are just words – not a reality or a promise.
Those in Ontario whose power is still out...
those in our own community who spend the year worrying about next month's rent or the next meal...
those who have an empty place at the Christmas table this year...
those who find themselves in a hospital bed, and those who sit and wait beside those beds...
those who live in places where we would not be caught dead...
We pray for and with all of your children.
May all of us hear again the angel's words: “Fear Not! For behold I bring you tidings of great joy!” May we all feel the comfort of knowing that unto us is born a saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
May the knowledge that God is breaking into our lives ease the sting of life's wounds.

God of the Candlelight...
Isaiah spoke saying: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light”.
John wrote the the light which was in the beginning shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Here we are in the time of the year with the shortest days and the longest nights.
And so we look for light.
In this Christmas season may our eyes be blinded by the light of Jesus' birth.
May the light we meet this night shine in our hearts the whole year through,
and may it shine through us to give light to all we meet.

God of the Center...
You are the centerpoint around which we live the circles of our lives.
You are the center of our hope, of our faith, of our lives.
Tonight, amidst the hustle and bustle, the excitement and anticipation of this Christmas season,
we have gathered here at the center of the story.
Christ the Lord is Born!
We sing with angels and wonder with shepherds.
And we go out to the rest of our Christmas
to share the Good news of birth with the world.
We pray in the name of the child who lies in the manger,
Jesus of Nazareth, our Teacher and Guide, our Rock and Redeemer,
Emmanuel, God-With-Us.
Amen.

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