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2006-12-24 9:36 AM
So we have four services on Christmas Eve. The first is a children's pageant. This year I will be working the nursery for that service, with the assistance (?) of little she and miss m. As a parent, I never get to volunteer in the nursery, so I'm excited about that.
Then we will have our feast with the rest of the staff before the 7:30 service. R is making chili, featuring homemade chili powder which he made today.
R will attend the 7:30 service. Then the four of us will drive home in two cars, and I will skip the 9:30 service so I can help him with the milk and cookies/bedtime routine. I will drive back at 10:30ish to serve communion at the 11:00 service.
It's not bad, really. My main role in these services is to offer the prayer, which follows.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and peace on earth to everyone.
Our gracious God,
God with us,
God for us,
God among us,
Wondrous gift of life and light to all people—
Tonight we celebrate that
the Word did indeed become flesh
and pitch a tent among us.
You came into this world…
for a Galilean carpenter and his pregnant wife,
tired from a difficult journey;
for peasant sheep-herders, gruff and common,
with dirt under their fingernails,
their breath puffing into the cool evening
as they discussed the angel’s message;
for wise men in magnificent robes,
their eyes to the heavens,
searching for signs of your arrival
and seeking you out, gifts in hand.
You came, just as you promised you would.
for a tax collector, a fisherman, a denier, a betrayer, a doubter;
for a woman drawing water, a daughter near death,
a wee little man, a rich young ruler;
for a persecutor named Saul, a merchant named Lydia,
a young man named Timothy;
You came at a particular moment in human history,
and changed that history forever.
You come even now…
for the ones who completed their Christmas to-do list,
and for those who did not;
for the ones who love this season,
and for those who endure it;
for those embraced by family this day,
and for the couple sitting alone
in a makeshift trailer on the Gulf Coast;
for the mother who will leave her children orphaned by AIDS;
for the father patrolling the streets of Baghdad;
for the family huddled together in a refugee camp in Sudan,
for people around the world this night
who clutch candles in defiance to the darkness,
You come, when your people need you the most…
And then you bid us to come:
Come and follow,
Come and be healed,
Come and believe,
Come and claim the life that is ours in your abundant love and grace,
World without end.
We claim it, this night.
We do believe.
We will follow.
Empower us by your Spirit to be Christmas people.
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