Every year we receive gifts from family and friends: a few we asked for, most we don’t need, and some we never saw coming. With no exception, all the gifts fall into three overlapping categories: 1. Useful, 2. Consumable, and 3. Disposable. As we grow older it seems, most of the gifts reside in the first two categories, though all will eventually find their way to the third. There is one gift, however, that we receive again each year—in fact again each moment, which defies the categories and supersedes the limitations of time.
Salvation is the gift we “never saw coming.” Salvation in the form of the “babe lying in a manger” is an anomaly, an extrasensory manifestation of God, the Imago Dei (image of God), the Incarnate Word! Salvation is made human, and love is offered freely as a recognizable form and in an accessible relationship which supersedes use and is what we both want and need, but is neither consumable nor disposable.
Merry Christmas to you all! I pray you are renewed, moment by moment, by the gift of salvation, and grow moment by moment in the likeness of the Babe! I offer the prayers below as beautiful additions to you daily prayers for the season---and beyond.
“Lord, I thank You for coming to earth so You could redeem me. When I think of the extent to which You were willing to go in order to save me, it makes me want to shout, to celebrate, and to cry with thankfulness. You love me so much, and I am so grateful for that love. Without You, I would still be lost and in sin. But because of everything You have done for me, today I am free; my life is blessed; Jesus is my Lord; Heaven is my home; and Satan has no right to control me. I will be eternally thankful to You for everything You did to save me! I pray this in Jesus' name!” — Rick Renner
“Father, Today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. I celebrate Your birth, Your life, Your death, and Your resurrection. And as I celebrate, Lord, help me to be "God with skin on" to those in need around me. Open my eyes and let me see them as You see them! I love You. Happy birthday Jesus! In Jesus name, Amen.” — Mary Southerland
“God, our Creator, we offer this humble prayer on Christmas Day. We come to worship with a song of thanks in our hearts—a song of redemption, a song of hope and renewal. We pray for joy in our hearts, hope in our God, love to forgive, and peace upon the earth. We ask for the salvation of all our family members and friends, and we pray your blessings on all people. May there be bread for the hungry, love for the unlovable, healing for the sick, protection for our children, and wisdom for our youth. We pray for the forgiveness of sinners and abundant life in Christ. Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your love and power. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.” — Rev. Lia Icaza Willetts
“When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples, to make a little music with the heart. And to radiate the Light of Christ, every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. Then the work of Christmas begins.” — Howard Thurman
“May the blessing of joy abide within you; May the blessing of peace rest upon you; May the blessing of love flow out through you; May all the blessings of the Lord be yours at Christmas and in the new year.” — Author Unknown
God Bless You all,
Father Bill Burk†