Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Prayer

Father,

And now we celebrate Christmas. How good. There are the special meals, the fancy decorations and those carols. There are also the different traditions that we renew each year as families.  It's all so good. And it's especially good because of what we celebrate. Jesus has come, and we are saved.

Father, if we were to spend just a little time seriously considering what our lives would be like if Jesus had not come, it would be overwhelming. It would be terrifying. Our lives would be so very different, so very sad. There would be no hope, nor joy; not real hope and real joy. There wouldn't even be real love. Counterfeits would abound. And we would be like so many who refuse to face reality, so many who do all sorts of things to avoid acknowledging what's really going on.

But that's not our situation. Jesus has come, and we are saved.

And our lives are good. Oh, they are hard, but they are good. There is hope and joy and love, the real thing and not some counterfeits. And we are able to look at reality, to acknowledge the evil that is all around us, but without flinching. Jesus has come, and we are saved - and many more will also be saved from that evil.

And so, Father, as we celebrate the coming of our Savior, we offer to You our thanks. You have done for us something that we could never do for ourselves, something that we wouldn't even have wanted to do for ourselves. And that has made such a difference in how we are able to navigate this life. You have given us good reasons to get up each morning and live each day with optimism. Because of Jesus.

In the days to come, the special meals, the fancy decorations, the traditions will all be set aside again to be renewed, if You will it, next year. But we pray, Father, that our grasp of what You have done would not be set aside. We ask that by Your Spirit, You would make our grasp of what You have done through Jesus to grow. Help us, Father, to see reality more clearly, to see our sin and the rescue of the Gospel more clearly, so that we would live well and do that to Your glory. Through Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen.