Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
On that night long ago, O God, in a place so different from ours, you were born to inhabit our skin, to live in this world, to take on our humanity, to be mystery, all for the sake of love and justice. On this night, we welcome you again, into the empty spaces of our hearts, into the far-too-busy places of our homes, into our worries and concerns for those we love, into our conflicts and our yearnings, into this world with its great joys and its deep sorrows. Fill us tonight with the love that Mary and Joseph had for you on that night. Fill us tonight with the wonder of the shepherds and the awe of the magi. Fill us with enough humility to admit we that we really don’t know fully what has happened, nor do we understand all that it means. But give us courage again to proclaim that the world has changed forever because you have been born among us, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.
On this night, we pray for peace to reign supreme for the people in the land where you were born, for we know that the story of that night’s hardship continues still. We pray for the lowly and the marginalized in every corner of this world. We pray for the hungry and the prisoners. We pray for those far from home. And we pray for those whose homes have been turned upside down by the loss of a loved one or by the challenge of an illness. We pray for those who are lonely.
Great God, in our neediness for more light in our dark world, we string up all kinds of lights and put flame to all kinds of candles. When we look at those twinkly lights as we leave this place and as we watch those dancing flames on candles or in fireplaces, remind us that you are true light, that you are God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God and that for us and for our salvation you came down from heaven. For this great gift unmatched, we give you thanks. Please receive the gifts we give and the service we offer as our thankfulness and praise for you. May our gifts become your light of healing love and justice and mercy spread throughout the world.
The long-expected Jesus has come to set us free. Let our gifts be given in thanksgiving for that freedom—the freedom of knowing that we are loved and forgiven, accepted and made whole. Amen.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church