December 24, 2008

A Prayer for Christmas Day

O Christ, born this night in sacred simplicity, conceive in us tomorrow a living, breathing, growing faith in you. Deliver us from holiday diversions and distractions, and in our homes and hearts bring forth in the morning gifts of awe and wonder and jubilation--that we might sing the praises of our God.

O Christ, giver of sight to the blind, open our eyes on the morrow, that we might see—not only the comfortable companions of our familiar lives—but also our neighbors in need. Remove from our lenses the cataracts of comfort and consumption, and give us eyes to see afresh the places and people and problems to whom you bid us go in lowly service.

O Christ, calmer of storms, of threatening winds and rains, speak tomorrow a word of peace—your quiet shalom—into any troubled homes and hearths. Where there is strife, speak a word of healing. Where there is pain, speak your calling to forgiveness. Where there is grief, speak words of hope. May the day be a balm for all who struggle in this life.

O Christ, present for all time in the Godhead, resident of heaven’s borough, break open our boredom and unstop our imaginations, that we might learn again to see the wonder and majesty of God’s glory—the livingness of our Lord made known in your life. May Christmas Day assault our spirit’s senses. Tune our hearts to sing your praise for all the ways you have blessed us with astonishing new life.

O Christ, lowly in your service to us yet Lord of all forever, we offer to you the Christmas Day now before us. Bless our homes with charity, bless our hearts with faith, and bless our congregation—all congregations!—with witness and work worthy of your kingdom and its goals.

This we pray for Christmas, in your good and lasting name. Amen.