In a small animal shelter, two young newlyweds came to take refuge. In candlelight, laying upon straw, the promised one stirred within a nervous young mother. How we wonder that your Son, a piece of you sent from heaven could reside in such humble beginnings. And yet we engage with this picture, with the expectancy, with the hardship and with the wonder. This is the eve that held such promise, the eve that would be remembered forever, the eve that changed everything. We remember this moment now and continue to wonder at your amazing plans, at your unfailing love, and at your amazing grace.
Gracious LORD, be the God of our Christmas celebration. We rejoice with the shepherds over the good news of Jesus’ birth. We join in the praises of the angelic choir, saying: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!”
Almighty God, you have favored us with the greatest gift ever given–your only begotten Son, light of true light, God of rue God. May we never take this your gift for granted; may our songs of praise never fade, and may we treasure it in our hearts always and forever. Bless all of us here gathered in worship as well as our loved ones at home. May peace and joy ring in our hearts and reverberate through our communities tonight in the name of Jesus the new-born King. Amen.
God of every nation and people,
From the beginning of creation you have made manifest your love.
When our need for a Savior was great
You sent you Son to be born of the virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love.
Lord, bless all who look upon this manger.
May it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
And raise up our thoughts to him,
Who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
And who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Dear Lord, on a wondrous night you sent your son to take on frail human flesh in order that all who believe in Jesus might be saved. You sent angels to herald his birth in Bethlehem and a star to proclaim it to the ends of the earth. Send us now as messengers of your good news and proclaimers of your peace. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
Faithful God, your light has sustained generations of the faithful through darkness, despair, and confusion. Come and bless us by your Holy Spirit, as we gather to celebrate the Advent of the incarnate Light of Life, the birth of Christ, the Savior of the World. As Good News was proclaimed in the darkness of night, so speak your Word to us again tonight. As peace on earth was proclaimed to shepherds abiding their sheep on the hillsides, so grant your peace to us wherever we find ourselves residing this evening. As messengers proclaimed your favor to all creation, so may we rejoice in your favor upon us, for you have made us in your image, reconciled us in Christ, and are restoring us in his image by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Merciful and Compassionate God, the world in solemn stillness lays again this year on Christmas Eve, awaiting the culmination of your work in Christ. Again this year, we hear of war and rumors of war. We lay in wait of peace. Again this year, we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We lay in wait of resurrection. Again this year, we labor under responsibilities that threaten to overwhelm us. We lay in wait of your grace. Again this year, our thoughts are shrouded in doubt. We lay in wait of your truth and guidance. Again this year, our spirits are laden with sin. We lay in wait of your deliverance.
We thank you, Strong Shepherd of our Souls, that we are not alone. Long had the world waited for the revelation you gave in Christ. From your first promise, embedded in our hearts, being created in your image, we have looked for your coming among us. We thank you that in Christ, are all your promises fulfilled, as, in him, are we. As you filled Mary with your Spirit, so fill us, and give new birth to Christ in our lives, and new birth to us in faith. Lord, please renew the face of the earth by the witness of all the faithful, as we rejoice in your presence, and in the reconciling work of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and in the prayer we offer with the ascended Christ and all the saints, saying Our Father . . .
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to earth as a baby so many years ago. Thank you that He paid the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross. And thank you that He rose again to prove that death was truly defeated. I place my trust in You to be my Savior. Guide me through the dark times of my life Christmas prayerand give me courage to live for You. Amen
The day of joy returns, Father in Heaven, and crowns another year with peace and good will.
Help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.
Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world?
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing that Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
And the Christmas evening bring us to our bed with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus? sake.
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth . . . . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.