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

 

 

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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