A Prayer for Christmas Eve, 2009

written by Diana R.G. Trautwein
Christmas Eve, 2009

The candles are lit, the tree is glimmering,

the smell of fresh pine lingers in the air.
It’s Christmas Eve, Lord God,
that time when we gather together
to remember,
to tell the story one more time,
to celebrate
and contemplate
and wonder
and worship.
We’ve come from lots of different places tonight, Lord.
We’ve got lists in our heads of all that still needs to be done
before this holiday season is finished.
But….we’ve come.
We’ve come to church.
We’ve come to hear your word,
to sing of angels
and shepherds
and mangers
and mysteries too deep to decipher.
Some of us come here often,
some of us not so much.
Some of us come here hoping to hear good news,
some of us come here knowing we’ll hear it.
Some of us come because
someone else wants us to come.
Some of us come because, well,
we always come to church on Christmas Eve.
There are some of us, of course, who come
because we really want to be here.
And then there are those of us who come
because we are desperate to be here,
just plain desperate.
We’re hungry for hope,
we’re starved for beauty,
we’re panting for a spoonful of peace in our lives,
we’re gasping for a sense of glory,
for something bigger
and braver
and deeper
and denser
than the stuff we see around us everyday.
We’d like to catch a glimpse of an angel,
to hear just the faintest echo of a heavenly chorus,
to see the smallest reflection of a dazzling star,
to hear the muffled cries of a newborn babe,
a baby whose arrival
will literally change the direction of history.
The amazing thing about Christmas Eve, Lord,
is that all of us
the ones here to please someone else,
the ones here out of habit and custom,
the ones who delight to be here,
the ones who need to be here –
all of us are part of the story we tell tonight,
the story we sing tonight,
the story we hear tonight.
Because those angels
and that star
and that baby in the manger
are for all of us.

The wonder of the incarnation is not for a select few,
but for all
who will enter into the mystery,
become part of the Grand Story;
all who will listen to the angels’ song and join the chorus:
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

So…grant us the wisdom and the will to do just that –
to enter into the mystery,
to become part of the story,
to join the angel chorus.
Grant us the firm assurance of your favor resting on each one of us,
and fill us with the peace of the Bethlehem babe,
that same one
who grew in grace and favor with God and people,
that same one
who showed us how to live a life of
purpose and joy,
that same one
who climbed onto a tree of pain for our sakes,
who died and was raised again to glory.
It’s Christmas Eve and we are so glad!
Glory to God in the highest!

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  1. Very nice!! Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy blessed New Year!!!

  2. Thanks, Hugo – right back at you!