Day 281 | Friday, 25 December 2020
MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Woodlands Shepherd and The Church Mouse.
“Behold, the Morning Star of heaven; among beasts of the earth, he is stabled. The all-seeing eyes have closed in sleep. The fulness of eternity is sealed in skin. He who cradled all worlds is himself cradled in a mother’s arms. Behold, the one true God, is one of us,”
An invocation for Christmas Day:
“Wondrous God open our hearts and minds so we may hear once again the angels' song and know that Christ is born for us and for all. Touch the world with joy this holy day, and fill us with peace and childlike won-der. Surprise us and bless us with the simple miracle of the birth of the Christ child. Amen.”
A Prayer of Confession for Christmas:
“Almighty God, your love and power transform death into life, despair into hope, lifeless stumps into tender shoots and a tiny baby into the Prince of Peace. In the hearing of your Word and the repenting of our sins, transform the hardness of our hearts into lives of receptivity, following the One who came to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
A Christmas Prayer:
“Wondrous God take us into your story. Let us be filled with wonder like the shepherds, be as loving as Mary and Joseph and sing with joy like the angels. Take us to Bethlehem and fill us with peace and surprise us with joy. Amen.”
“Loving God, we thank you for poets and composers without whose inspired work Christmas would not be Christmas. We thank you for Phillips Brooks, preacher extraordinary, who wove a spell of devout words around the little town where your Son was being born long ago in the night. We thank you for George Frederick Handel, whose joyous strains of ‘Joy to the World’ break like heaven’s own light around us, no matter how deep our darkness. We thank you for Martin Luther, fighting reformer with the faith of a child, which enabled him to write ‘Away in a Manger’ while battling earthly powers and the Devil himself. For these heralds of Christmas and countless others, known or nameless, we praise your holy name. Amen”
“Joy has come to the world; peace has come on earth; we need worry no more. Immanuel, God be with us, we have prayed for so long, and now God is here. In the serendipity and surprise of a Child, in the wonder of two young parents, in the wisdom of sages and the humility of shepherds, in innkeepers who make room when there is no room, in all these narratives and more, we know your presence among us.
Let us not forget, as we have unwrapped gifts, what we know here and now. The ultimate gift is your Son: Christ is born in Bethlehem, wrapped in the normal blankets of a normal child, yet containing deep within the genetics of joy, the seeds of peace, the DNA of salvation.
Bless our own gift giving that it, too, be marked with joy and filled with peace. Let our gratitude to others show, and let it come straight from our gratitude for you. In the name of the Child. Amen.”
A Christmas Blessing:
“Cradle Christ in your hearts, bow in the presence of the Holy with praise on your lips and joy in your soul.”