This was part of the service we attended Sunday morning and I asked if we could have a copy of it to share here. Pray along as you read.
God of every nation and people,
You have made known your love
Through the gift of your Son
Who bears the name Emmanuel, “God with Us.”
In the fullness of time the Christ-child came
To be the Good News to all humankind.
Emmanuel, God lives with us as one of us;
Christ, the Word made flesh
Has come to us as a vulnerable,
Weak and dependent babe;
A God who hungered and thirsted,
And longed for human touch and affection;
A God who chose to be born
In obscurity and shame, with
a borrowed manger as a bed,
In a tiny, insignificant town called Bethlehem.
Oh, Mighty God, of humble origins,
Christ, the Messiah, whom the prophets foretold,
You were born at a time, and in a place
Where few welcomed you or even recognized you.
Have we, too, lost a sense of joy and anticipation
In what the Christ-child may bring?
Have we been preoccupied with endless activities,
Distracted by the tinsel, decorations, and gifts
Busy preparing for the birthday of Christ;
So busy that there’s no room in our cluttered lives
To welcome Him when he comes?
God, grant us the grace to be patient and vigilant
In watching, waiting, and listening attentively.
So that we won’t miss Christ …
Remove whatever hinders us from receiving
The gifts which the Savior brings
Joy, peace, justice, mercy, love …
let these be the gifts we share.
Christ, you are our hope,our wonderful Counselor
who encourages and consoles,
The Prince of Peace who calms our troubled minds
Christ, you who are the radiant dawn,
Shine on those who live in darkness and in shadows,
Christ, You who are the Light of the World,
Help us to radiate the warmth of your presence.
As we wait for the dawn
Of the coming of the Christ-child,
We do so with anticipation
Of new and unexpected challenges.
Like Mary, we sense the birth pangs of a new era,
A new kingdom waiting to be born.
May we, like Mary, be filled with courage,
Openness, and receptivity
To be the bearers of the Christ-child
In receiving and bringing forth the Good News
In the words of Isaiah
“Arise, shine, for your light has come.
The glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
Even though darkness shall cover the earth
And over its people,
Yet the LORD will be your everlasting light.”