Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012

Today's text

And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told (Luke 2:20).

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and the light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it (John 1:1-5).


Be born in us, O Lord. Illumine our souls with the light of your loving presence for this is the birthday of life.

As once you were born into the darkness of our world, be born in our hearts that our coldness might be overwhelmed by your warmth;
That our confusion might be washed away by the certainty of a love that always was and always will be; 
That our mortality might be filled with your immortality; 
That our narrow hearts might be expanded by the immensity of your encompassing compassion.

Let Christmas come and banish all sadness. Let every soul see cold winter’s darkness drenched in sunlight. Fill us with the joy of your eternal morning as the light from our savior’s cradle seeks every corner of creation, leaving no forgotten place.

Be born in us. Raise us from the lethargy of grief, from preoccupation with what we have lost and from anxious fears of what may come. Warm our flesh with the light of your love deep within that we may know that you are with us and will never depart.

Assure us once more that you are greater than every sadness, stronger than the anxieties that erode our joy and more powerful than the forces of death that cloud the future.

Make our souls like a bright winter morning.

Bare trees rejoice amid winter’s cold for the world is clothed in laughing light. It plays across the yard and stretches throughout creation. 

Your light draws shepherds to the brightness of your rising and sends them dancing into the daylight of your presence, swallowing every fear.

Teach us to dance with them in the laughing light of your loving nearness. Open our eyes and hearts to see your light in the places we live our days.

Be born in us every day and most certainly on Christmas Day, for today is the birthday of life.

Fill us with the light of the morning that gave you birth that we may live each day … like its Christmas.

For prayer and reflection

  • Remember a Christmas Day that was particularly happy or meaningful to you.
  • When do you most need Christmas to come to you and fill you with the joy of God’s light and life?
  • What do you want and need to receive from Christmas and carry with you into the new year?

Another voice

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; oh, come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel!
(“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Phillips Brooks, 1890)

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