Monday, December 22, 2014

A Christmas Prayer for 2014


God of Hope,
where despair rages, where things seem lost, you make us a promise.
When we are tempted to give up, when we decide the world is falling apart, you hold up a vision of what could be.
Into the world as it is, with all the drama and the hurt and the pain, you insert a bit of hope,
you show us a glimpse of the Kingdom of God,
you remind us that things are not always going to be as bad as they seem.
This Christmas season, re-make us into people of hope, make us those who have hope for a better world even against all the evidence.
Help us carry hope for the present and the future into a world where despair and resignation seem to be winning. And so we remember those places in our lives and around the world where hope is most needed
...time of silence...

God of Peace,
we live in a world where peace is so seldom a reality.
Our news sources share stories of bombs around the world, of people shot by those called to serve and protect, of people shooting those called to serve and protect, of militants killing all who get in their way, of schoolgirls kidnapped and presumed to be sold off in marriage against their will.
Where does peace fit in?
Tonight we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, tonight we hear again the angel song “glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all of goodwill”.
As we celebrate, may we be so filled with Christ's Peace that we carry it with us wherever we go, bringing peace in our own way to the world that we touch.
And so we pray that Peace would be more than just a word, we pray for those places where it's reality is most urgently needed
...time of silence...

God of Joy,
in churches and houses and village squares around the globe tonight the sounds of joy ring out.
And also in churches and houses and village squares around the globe tonight there are those whose hearts are heavy or whose life is a struggle that leaves little room for joy.
Tonight as we sing the carols and hear the old story, we hold in our hearts those who are lonely this night, and those who have an empty space at the table, and those who lie in hospital beds or sit beside those beds, and those who struggle to find basics like food and shelter.
Sometimes life is not what we want it to be.
On this night, on every night, we pray with and for all those who struggle
may they know that they are not alone, may they hear the word of promise and joy and love
...time of silence...

God of Love,
love, they say, is what makes the world go round
love is the power that makes life possible.
In love you continue to break into our lives, to break into our world.
You remind us that we are loved, you call us to be people who love others.
This Christmas season, and throughout the year that is to come, fill our hearts to overflowing with love.
And may we, having experienced Your boundless, unlimited, passionate love, pass it on to all we meet.
May love become the watchword and guidepost of our lives and the lives of all Your children.
And in this season of love, we pause to remember all our loved ones
...time of silence...

God of Light,
in the beginning there was darkness. And you called forth the light.
Throughout recorded time there has been darkness, and you called out the light.
In our world today there is darkness, help us to find the light.
The Christmas story reminds us of your love and care for your created, how you will never abandon us to the dark.
In the face of the darkness help us choose to be people of the light.
As we stand in the glow of starlight and angel song and a babe with his mother may we always remember that though the light shines in the darkness the darkness has not, will not, and can not over come it.
For the shadowed places of the world that that cry for light we pray
...time of silence...

God of Birth,
tonight we gather to celebrate a birth that happened long ago,
the birth of a child laid in a manger because there was no place for his family in the inn.
But tonight we also celebrate births that happen everyday:
we sing praises for hope born anew in the midst of despair,
we watch as peace is born in the middle of violence and struggle and disparity,
we listen as joy is born afresh in the broken-hearted,
we are overcome with emotion as love is born time and time again, overcoming fear and distrust and hatred,
we stand in the glow as tiny sparks give birth to a light that warms and illuminates the wonders of life.
For all the births we celebrate this night we offer prayers of thanksgiving and praise
...time of silence...
Amen.

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