Christmas Prayer

God,

One Who Dwells Among Us,

I am thankful for the Story of Your nativity. It is such a wonder to behold Jesus entrusted to the care of creation—to Mary’s body and Joseph’s arm. To both their wisdom.

Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

And yet, Holy Spirit, You were in every breath—dwelling and wooing all matter toward its greatest glory yet.

Continue the work.

Continue the wooing.

As in Mary, awaken my body to Your presence.

As in Joseph, renew my trust in Your dream.


Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

I praise You for the partnership of Mary and Joseph. It was best that they work together, and, by Your mystery and the power of Love, they did so. Show me how to partner with my spouse, my community, and the rest of creation in bearing Your presence and heralding Your Kingdom:

Breaking systems of injustice,

Enduring come what may,

And singing new songs.


In Christmas Your deep incarnation altered the very fabric of matter. The matrix of Reality was infected with grace. Creation’s transformation began the moment of Christ’s conception.

How slow our transformation seems to come, O God. Make us brave enough to relinquish our plan for matter in exchange for Yours.

Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

Photo from The Nativity Story with Oscar Isaac & Keisha Castle-Hughes

Christmas reveals that You are good for it.


I wonder what You will ask of us this Year.

What will You ask of me?

I am struck by the simplicity of Gabriel’s message to Mary. You asked her to do a familiar thing. You asked her to bear, birth, and raise a Child. Could there be anything more natural, creaturely…or profound?

No wonder her confused community did not understand.

No wonder Joseph first felt pain at the news.

No wonder Mary’s life was at risk.

What You asked her to do was so very much in the realm of normal—so normal some forsook Your grace for shame.

Ah, but if we can look past our constructs and preconceived notions of How You Work, we can receive good news at Christmas.


What You ask us to do is within our creative abilities. But it requires faithfulness. Steady faithfulness in our creaturely ways.

Perhaps I should look for Your directive among the natural—for is that not where You are at work? Is that not where You have always been at work—in the embodied simplicity of Life?

In the giving of birth--

The joining of lives--

The sharing of meals--

The traveling of wondering people?


Lord, let me be willing to say Yes to Your simple directives. Do not let my worries and expectations complicate Your call.

For to do otherwise is to cheat You of room to work and me of Your presence.

Release me to the creatureliness of Christmas,

To Your simple Way,

So that I may witness the coming of the Lord,

Emmanuel.

Amen.


Christmas Prayer.jpg

Photos for this post were drawn from my very favorite Christmas movie, The Nativity Story. It came out way back in 2006 and is the first movie ever premiered in Vatican City. Also...Joseph is Poe Dameron. You're welcome.

 

What's your favorite Christmas movie?