Sunday, December 23, 2007
God of the Manger, God of us all, we humbly gather our prayers before you as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth. We give thanks for his life, his ministry, and the hope that his very being can represent for us.
God, we give thanks for all the goodness of the season – for families who gather in from far distances to share the holidays together… for families who cannot be together in the same physical place, but whose spirits are forever bound in the goodness of loving and happy memories of past Christmases.
We thank you for laughter, for friends, for the stories we share and the joy waiting to be unwrapped in this season of gifts and giving.
God we pray for those who are struggling today…
…for those who are walking the path of grieving and cannot bring the symbols of the season into focus. As their tears blur their vision of Christmas trees and angels in the night, we pray that your comforting presence will be known and that your Spirit will enfold all who grieve.
…we pray for all who are ill at this time of the year and whose greatest wish is for days of health and wholeness.
…we pray for those who are lonely, or struggling with addiction, and for those whose holiday memories are not happy ones. Bring a renewed sense of your love to those most in need this Christmas.
These and all of our prayers we offer at the holy place where hope is born again – the manger within each of us, where Jesus brings the light of hope to all of creation. And now we pray using the words that Jesus taught to his friends…