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Prayers for Christmas 2005

Prayers for Christmas 2005

    Prince of Peace, born in a manger, died on a cross, please pass this way again and fulfill the promise the angels sang the night of your birth, about peace on earth and goodwill toward all peoples everywhere.  We know, Lord, that many ages have ached for an end to wars and their violence.  And we know, Lord, that every time things have looked good for a blessed moment, they have turned sour.  Most of all we know it's pretty much our fault, the pride, the greed, the ignorance, the hate, the drawing of  lines, and the dreadful ease with which we forget that everyone who lives and breathes, including our enemies, is your brother and a child of the Father.  We promise to mend our broken ways, but we also know from sad experience that an immensity of goodwill hasn't turned swords into plowshares or spears into pruning hooks.  We need a lot more than us, our repentance and renewed determination.  We need you.  We need a new birth of your peaceable spirit in us and in the world.  We need nothing less than a miracle, equal to anything you've ever done, the sending forth of a settling current of grace, full of second thoughts about what might be if we could set aside first thoughts insisting on our right and the other's wrong.  Yes, we pray for your intervention in our helplessness.  Come, then, Jesus, and be what your good friend said you are, the one who can overcome our dividing walls of hostility and be our peace to those near and far... until we all sing like angels.  Amen.

   Child of Bethlehem, who honored that special beginning time of our lives by sharing it with us, at a mother's breast, in a father's workshop, with other children piping and dancing, put us to doing everything in our power to making childhood everywhere a realm of wonderful possibilities.  We think, Lord, of our own, and you can be sure we shall move mountains and lift crosses for them.  But it is for other people's children we most need your grace and persuasion.  And not just to abide them or think more kindly of them: to be generous with them, to look out for them, to care for them, to make this world a healthier, more welcoming place, like we know it should be when we hear you speak of your kingdom of love and light.  Consider this prayer, Jesus, our commitment to the little ones we shall never greet in person, especially those in far off places where disease and famine and violence are daily threats.  You are probably tired of hearing us say, as we say too often, that Christmas is for children.  Put your compassion into our hearts that we may give that cliche a truth and certainty as never before.  And we shall sing our carols with a lilt and gladness as never before.  Amen.

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