is almost Christmas, O God, and many of us are worse for wear because of
it. How did we let it get so frenzied and busy, with
that are almost impossible to meet,
lists that cause us to long for some peace, and
nerve endings that stir up hurt feelings or arguments
the very people for whom we care the most.
did the simple, unpretentious birth of Jesus in a cattle stall near a tenth-rate
little town in the Middle East grow into such a frantic, exhausting, and
budget-busting occasion as the one we celebrate this week? We pray,
O God, that we shall not lose the real meaning of Christmas under all this
blanket of cultural traditions and fevered preparations.
us some quiet moments when we commune with you to say thank you for
the true and best spirit of the season.
us to pause at our desks, over the cook top, while chilling out with
friends or in the traffic at the mall to have a sense of your rich and
abiding presence that we might not have ever known if
Jesus had not been born all those years ago.
hearts burn and we pray for children who have no toys under the tree...
whose families are too poor even to have a tree and if they had a tree,
they couldn’t afford a stand or lights. We pray for children
around the world who have not enough food this day and their tummies are
growling and their parents are sad because they’ve tried everything
and there is nothing left to do... and for parents who are behind in the
rent and next month’s coming fast. May they receive your GIFT
we pray for children who are surrounded by mountains of expensive talking, buzzing
and static-cy plastic toys. May they have the childlike innocence
to know that true joy comes from something else... not stuff. May
their affluence not be a detriment that causes them to value meaningless
or materialistic goals, but may they grow to know they are blessed... and
that their highest values could be to serve, to help, to care, and to give. May
they receive YOUR gift of joy.
pray this day
those whose Christmas is missing someone...
those whose Christmas finds a loved-one far away...
those whose joy has been deflated by something that happened...
they RECEIVE your gift of joy.
now, in moments of quiet...
you get up tomorrow, May YOU receive God’s gift of joy. Amen.