A prayer for Christmas Eve:
Holy God, I wonder what you see when you look at us. Do you see the ways that we strove to be like Jesus this year? Do you see the times we fed the hungry, or provided clothing for the naked? Or do you see the times when we focused on ourselves and what we needed?
Gracious God, if we celebrated Christmas too often, it would overwhelm us. As we look to your son we see a glimpse of what we could be, and what your kingdom come will look like. We can’t take too much of you without wincing at our own shortcomings, and blinking in the light of your good news for our world.
I pray today that you will see us as we are, but remind us of what we can be when we look to your son for guidance. I pray today that you would clothe us in grace so that we would be forgiven, and that you would fill us with grace so that it would flow out of us and splash onto others. I pray that you would reconcile us to those who have become estranged, that you would heal our hearts where they have broken, and that you would wash away our cynicism and doubt. I pray that you would ease our violent hearts that we would no longer seek vengeance but peace.
I pray today that you would take the glimmers of hope and joy that we have found here in the month of December and multiply them exponentially. Make them glimmers of hope and joy that are fanned into flames of peace and generosity in January, and wildfires of hospitality and service in June.
We need you now more than ever to pick us up, dust us off, and set us back on the road you know is best for us. Sanctify us by the death of your son on the cross, unite us in hope and love, and prepare us to serve in the world.
In the name of the one whose birth we celebrate, and the one who is to come, Jesus, we pray, Amen.