Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

Today is a great day. It's a day to celebrate. Jesus has come, and we are saved. Because of His birth, humanity will be redeemed. Advent is Your grace embodied for our good.

We were in great need, greater than what we understood. And yet, we did not cry out. We did not seek You. Instead, we hid from You. And if we had been allowed to continue in our sin Satan would have won, and we all would be his slaves for the rest of life here and punished by You forever after. Our need was so very great.

But You are the God of love. So, Jesus has come.

His coming means that we have been born again to a living hope, not some deadening myth, but something true and real and life giving, something kept safe in heaven for us.

And Jesus' coming means that we also are being kept safe by Your power so that we can enjoy a salvation that will be completely revealed and enjoyed in the age to come. We have much to be grateful for. We owe You.

That sense of debt is increased when we consider that it was not just Jesus' birth that rescued us. It also required His death, a shameful and painful death, a death He faced alone, abandoned by You. He loved us and gave Himself for us. This love is a costly love. Jesus was born to die.

It is this love that we celebrate this morning, a love that has changed our lives, for time and eternity.

It only makes sense that You call for a response to this great love of Yours. It only makes sense that You call us to a similar, costly love. We will not need to die for the sins of the world, abandoned by You. But we will need to die to ourselves, to set aside our desires, some deeply held desires, so that we can fulfill the role that You have for us. Being faithful in our role will result in progress for Your plan for this world. It will mean that others will also experience this great love of Yours. It just makes sense for us to respond to You in this way. Love so amazing, so divine, demands our soul, our life, our all.

So, thank You, Father. Jesus has come, and we are saved. We will spend an eternity working to understand that and rejoicing in it.

And help us, Father, to celebrate Your gift to us by offering You one of our own: a love that is willing to pay the price, willing to set aside our desires - at least for now - so that many will come to enjoy what we enjoy in Jesus and, as a result, make You look good.

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