Christmas Prayer: Emmanuel, God-Is-with-Us

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We believe in an Ultimate Reality,

a reality beyond our words

and beyond our images,

a reality that grounds and sustains everything that exists.

 

We see this Reality at work

in the immensity of our universe,

in the incredible display of life-forms on this planet

and in the development of consciousness

in the human species.

 

All our collected human wisdom

is a visible expression of this Reality,

active for millions of years

in human development

active in all places,

at all times,

in individuals and cultures,

seeking expression in the betterment of humanity.

 

As Christians we rejoice in the birth of Jesus.

In him we see the fullness of human possibility:

to make God visible in our lives.

In him we have seen the Ultimate Reality,

God, Breath of Life, Wisdom,

come to expression in human form.

 

Like all of us

he grew in wisdom as he aged.

He questioned,

he searched for meaning,

he shaped his convictions,

he experienced love

and came to know love’s connectedness

with his God.

 

He stood firmly in his own religious tradition

and preached good news

to all people dreaming of

a better humanity.

 

We rejoice that his teaching sets us free

from imagining a manipulative, intervening God

and from thinking we are distant from the Reality

in which our very existence is grounded.

 

We rejoice that Jesus led people

to discover the sacred in the ordinary:

in the crowd,

in the lowly,

in everyday life,

in human yearnings to be better people,

and in being neighbor to one another.

 

We rejoice that his teaching

sets us free to believe

that we live in God

and that God lives

and comes to wonderful expression in us.

We believe in an eternal dimension

to this intimate connectedness,

giving meaning to who we are.

We give thanks for God being with us

in the love from family and friends,

in whatever has been,

in the circumstances of life now,

and in whatever the future holds for us.

 

Our Christmas prayer is that we may recognize

and actively acknowledge

the presence of the sacred

in places we are reluctant to look:

— in the stables of our own lives

— among the downtrodden in our society

— in refugees

— in people who are different from us.

 

May we recognize God-in-us

and give generous expression

to this wonderful gift we all share.

Amen.

 

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