Saturday, December 22, 2007
My Christmas prayer
Lord Jesus Christ we have come this morning for all kinds of reasons, some nobler than others. But, regardless of why we are gathered, there is a deep sense that through the birth of this baby Jesus the world has been made a better place. We want to celebrate today that in the eyes of this child we have seen a great light, a light that matured into a message of hope for so many. Into the most humble of circumstances you approached us - to think that we might sacrifice our lives to one who was born and nursed in a place fit for animals. We celebrate today knowing that you came not for the cause of the powerful but for the hope of the lost and weary. You showed that power comes from another place, a more humble beginning. True influence in this world is to be found in the least expected places. The shepherds a bunch of unclean, illiterates were some of the first to hear the news of this event – it causes us to linger a little longer on the meaning and reason of Christmas. Thank you God, that we don’t find the answers to this life in the dressed up windows of the shopping mall. Thank you God that our peace and rest do not lie in the trappings of wealth. Neither are they to be found in the high places of government or religious institution. We give you thanks that you have undressed the illusions of this world and provided us with the truth of living through this “Son of life.” A Son whose birthday we mark in our calendars each and every year because his birthday was the day our true life began. Be patient with as we unwrap and unbundled this birthday gift today. We are often not quite sure how to handle such a valuable gift. We are not sure whether our surprise and our emotions justify the enormous grace with which this gift has been given. Forgive us when we mishandle this gift at Christmas time. We sometimes keep it wrapped up in glossy paper and ribbons because we are too fearful of the truth beneath. But, we remind ourselves today that you only bring gifts that ultimately bring life and life to the full in the end. Give us the strength and courage to open the gift of Christ in our lives. To allow the truths, principles, and measures of the entire universe become ours. We kneel before you with open gifts today, thank you for loving us to this extent, forgiving to this proportion, for knowing exactly what we have needed for our lives. Jesus the gift of all gifts from the giver of all givers - glory be to your name for ever and ever Amen.