Merciful and Loving God, we come before your throne of mercy and grace, in total awe of your kindness and goodness. The gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ demonstrates for all time the depth, width, breadth, and length of your unfailing love for your children, the sheep of your pasture.
Father, today as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we do so in times of immense uncertainty, when wars and rumors of wars are possible because of the instability of people in high places. But my hope is in you, no matter what happens. Lord, in this Christmas season of 2017, let the words of the prophet, Habakkuk, found in Chapter 3, verses 17-19, reassure our hearts:
Fig trees may no longer bloom, or vineyards produce grapes; olive trees may be fruitless, and harvest time a failure; sheep pens may be empty, and cattle stalls vacant-but I will still celebrate because the LORD God saves me. The LORD gives me strength. He makes my feet as sure as those of a deer, and he helps me stand on the mountains.
Father, the hope that came in the form of Mary’s baby boy still endures today. Therefore, we can be confident that, regardless of what the situations of life may look like, nothing is too hard for you. Indeed, the miracle of the birth of Christ is evidence of the wonder of your majesty.
Father, let the promise of Christmas abide with us and let love flow from heart to heart. Instill in us mercy, tolerance, kindness, gentleness, patience, and self-control. Give us a compassionate heart and teach us to see and affirm the humanity of all people, especially those individuals we perceive to be different from ourselves.
O Lord, we are reminded that the reason for the season is the blessed Holy Child, and that His birth ushered in salvation and the forgiveness of sins. Let us be as forgiving of others as you, Holy Father, are to us. And when we find ourselves worried about what tomorrow may bring, let the words of King David found in Psalm 65: 5-8 comfort us and strengthen our faith:
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our Savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.