A Christmas Prayer

by Jacob Juncker

I find myself in an interesting place this week, just days before Christmas.  This week’s Faithlink is already about the new year and I’m facing a January Towerlight (monthly newsletter) deadline of today.  It’s hard to celebrate Christmas when you’re already moving on to “the next big thing.”  I often think we do Christmas a disservice when we fail to participate in Advent or (in my case today) when we rush through Christmas to get to the New Year.

Every year on Christmas day we welcome anew the Christ child.  When we sing Christmas songs during Advent we prematurely celebrate this year’s birth of Christ.  And on the other extreme, when we fail to slow down long enough to rejoice the coming of the newborn King, we fail to worship God in the midst of this world-changing event.

My prayer for us this Christmas is that we might slow down, prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ (we still have a few days), and worship fully in his presence on Christmas Day with friends and family.

Visit your family, O God.
Give us love, joy, and your peace.
Purify our thoughts, words and deeds, so that when Jesus Christ comes,
he will find a place prepared for his coming.

O heavenly Father,
as we prepare ourselves for the coming of your Son,
fill our hearts and lives with praise.
Grant that we may be just and merciful,
ready to help in the needs of our neighbor
and conscious of your great love for all the world.
Fill the Christian family with your spiritual gifts
of forgiveness, patience, mutual love, and unending joy.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

God bless you, brothers and sisters.
May Christ keep us in the faith
until the day we shall appear before his presence.

From the Christmas Eve Service of Los Posadas in The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992).

 How will you slow-down and celebrate Christmas this year?