God With Us –
We know the stories by heart. We know the familiar refrains. The verses and choruses play in our ears as we shop, as we drive, as we hurry from task to task, from errand to errand. The audacious proclamations of Joy to the World and Peace on Earth have become background noise and quaint as we continue our routines and our rhythms.
Bring us back to a sense of wonder this night.
Interrupt us – break into our mundane with your light.
May we wonder at the miracle of your Incarnation. In these moments this night, fill this place with wonder and awe at your presence among us.
We continue to wait, though, God. We continue to wait for your presence again among us. Our waiting often seems futile. Your presence seems as far away as a star over Bethlehem.
Even amidst our final details of gift-wrapping and cookie decorating and family-counting, we hear news of wars – communities around the world torn apart by the lust for power; we hear of more gun violence in our own country; we know the silent violence of mental illness, of abuse; we turn our backs on the persistence of oppression. We continue to watch as the irrationality of hatred and loss of innocent life threaten to squelch voices of hope.
Embolden us with the irrationality of your love – of your grace – of your hope.
You entered human history – you walked among a particular people. You shared in sorrow and in joy this very human life. We ache for your presence to dwell among us – in our particular time and place – to hear your voice, to see your face, to walk along side you, to share in a meal around a common table.
In our aching, in our longing, which continues even through our Christmas proclamation and rejoicing, find us open anew to your presence. May our hands and feet, our words and song be to the world your presence. In our work and our wonder may we bring the irrational love and grace of your Incarnation alive – wild and free – into the darkness.
We long for all these things, in the name of your Infant Son, who is our Christ. We pray now together the prayer he taught us, Our Father…