A Christmas Eve Prayer

Holy one,
God made flesh,
before the wonder of this night
we stand amazed.
Amazed that you would come to be with us,
knowing who we are
and what we’re capable of,
that your love would be so great
that you would come into this volatile world
not in a chariot of fire
or a suit of invincible armor
but as a baby in a feeding trough
that you would put yourself in our hands
that you would trust us to love you, too.

Help us, like the angels,
to sing your praises and proclaim your peace
to those the world thinks deserve it least.

Help us, like the shepherds,
to respond with enthusiasm,
to drop everything to meet you,
and then go out again
to tell everyone what we have found.

Help us, like the wise ones,
to seek you out,
to defy oppressors,
to make of our lives a gift to you,
and to go back home another way,
if it is your call to us.

Help us, like Joseph,
to dream, and to listen
when you tell us
what you’re up to in our lives.
Help us to give up what we had planned
and trust what you plan.

Help us, like Mary,
to be so brave, and so strong,
that we bear you into this world,
with thoughtful love
and words of radical power.
As she beheld the face of God
in her child
help us to see the face of God
in all your children,
and to do all the messy,
necessary work of nurturing life
as she did.

And on this Christmas night,
we are so bold to pray, holy Christ,
that we might be a little more like you:
unafraid to be vulnerable,
unafraid to enter a world of poverty and oppression,
unafraid to touch the untouchable,
unafraid to feed the multitudes.
May we, too, be love in a body,
love with fingers and toes.
Be born in us, Christ,
that we might find our new life
in you.

And now, in the company of all the saints
who in every time and place and language
lift their voices to you,
we pray with the words you gave us,
saying,

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
forever.
Amen.

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