Our Father of all Souls,
This is Christmas Eve!
There is not another day like this in all the year.
It’s as if we had been climbing for the last month with our
eyes on this one day.
Now we are here “a little spent for our journey”
but we will enjoy this Christmas Day
to the fullest!
Our God of Advent,
You have bent low from your heights of holiness
and looked mercifully upon us,
Who, dwelling amid the insecurities of this mortal life
are tempted to guard every advantage
and keep everything
as if our life could be secured
by what we have or can possess.
But you have shown us your way,
your confusing and opposite way of life
In the giving up of the most precious gift of your Son;
Dethroned, uncrowned, powerless
and dependent you gave him to us.
And we confess that in the end
we did not know how to receive such a gift
For we seem to be able to see only gay wrappings
and bright ribbons that catch our attention
and too often miss the real gifts in our lives.
But, Oh God,
What a gift you’ve given!
In His coming our eyes were opened to how much
we have given ourselves to shadows of unreality,
to killing time and empty distractions.
Now there is light again in our lives!
And our days are filled with meaning,
for now we know who we are:
Children of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords,
The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Excerpted from Let Us Pray: Contemporary Prayers for the Seasons of the Church by Israel Galindo.
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Program at Columbia seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer & Don Reagan, and Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.