A prayer for Christmas

This weekend, many of us will be preparing for, enjoying, and celebrating the Christmas holiday. Many Americans will go to church this weekend for the only time all year, or one of only a handful of times. Many people will hear the words of God declaring the birth of his son in the famous Luke 2 passage, describing this child born in a manager, and sharing the chorus song from heaven announcing his birth to lonely shepherds in the fields.

Let us today prepare our hearts to receive God’s good news. Let us today embrace and share the “great joy” that is for all the people. Let us remember that a little over 2,000 years ago, God fulfilled his greatest promise: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Will you pray with us this Christmas?

Holy Father, what good news this is – the news of a Messiah being born, a child being given, our Lord coming to us as a helpless infant. O great God, we hear this story so often that we forget the impact of it! This is the story on which all of history stands! Open our eyes to Your Word this weekend. Open our lips to share Your Good News with our family and neighbors this weekend. Open our hearts to receive Your Holy Spirit afresh this weekend. It will change our lives – it will save our souls. Holy Father, we thank you for sending us Your Son and for fulfilling your great promise to King David – the promise of a Messiah. We could not come close to you, until the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible. All praise be to You, Holy God, for accomplishing this salvation. Yes, today we echo with your angels in heaven their heavenly song to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” May your peace rest on us this weekend. May your peace rest on this city this weekend. May we, like the shepherds who heard this proclamation all those years ago, seek You, find Jesus, and return to our daily lives glorifying and praise You, O God, for all that we have seen and heard. Thank you for Christmas, O God. Amen.