God who has created and is creating,
on this Christmas night we give thanks for the wonders you have created:
for sunlight shining on fresh snow,
for the excited giggles of children hanging their stockings,
for the warmth of family and friends gathered around a table,
for twinkling stars and moonshine in the crisp winter air
for all the gifts we have received that make life full.
We wait with hope for what is being created, for the wonders we have yet to see.
Creator, open our eyes to see what you are doing in our midst,
open our souls and hearts
that we would embrace the Kingdom proclaimed by the Babe in the manger.
God of hope and promise, as we sing the old songs and tell the old story,
we know that the world is not what it could be.
Too readily we see the darkness and shadows of the world.
Renew and restore our hope,
open our eyes to see the possibilities,
reveal to us the ways that people like us are choosing to make a difference,
shine light on the places where the promise of Christmas is becoming reality.
God of peace, tonight we celebrate the birth of one called Prince of Peace.
Tonight we remember angels proclaiming “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all”.
Help us be people who make peace in our own circles.
Help us push our leaders to make peace in larger circles.
Help us find peace within our own lives when we are troubled or anxious.
God of joy,
sometimes we get too busy for joy.
Sometimes we get too worried for joy.
And yet if we turn in another direction we might find it.
Reach into our hearts and souls and open the doors where we have locked joy away,
that we would be able to sing wholeheartedly “Joy to the World the Lord is come”!
God of love,
God who loves the world so much you will never give up on it,
God who in love chose to live among us as one of us,
sharing our triumphs and our failures, our joys and sorrows,
over and over you teach, encourage, command us to love.
May we truly love you, each other, and ourselves and put that love into action.
God who has come in Jesus, the Word-Made-Flesh, to reconcile and make new,
tonight we celebrate the birth of Jesus, of Emmanuel, God-With-Us.
Tonight we celebrate that in love you keep breaking into the life of the world,
into our own lives,
to bring renewal, redemption, and re-creation.
Tonight you once again proclaim the beginning of a new era,
one where the Kingdom will be real and growing in our midst.
Tonight you call us to come and see the Babe in a manger
and see in his face:
the promise of peace, the eyes of love, and our cause for joy.
As we run with the shepherds to see if the angel story is true,
may we be full of delight, of excitement, of hope for the world, hope for us.
Having seen the child, may we live as if the world,
and we as well, have been changed because of this night.
God of Christmas,
this night there are also prayers in our hearts that we can not or dare not put into words,
and so we lift them up in the silence of our hearts
...time of silent prayer...
All of these things, spoken and unspoken, hope-filled and anxious, joyous and sorrowful, we pray in the name of the baby who lies in the manger,
who we call Saviour and Messiah,
who will grow up to teach us all about what it means to live and love in the Kingdom,
and who will teach his friends to pray saying the words we now sing...