By Peter Marshall
We yearn, our Father, for the simple beauty of Christmas -- for all the old familiar melodies and words that remind us of that great miracle when He who had made all things was one night to come as a babe, to lie in the crook of a woman's arm.
Before such mystery we kneel, as we follow the shepherds and Wise Men to bring You the gift of our love -- a love we confess has not always been as warm or sincere or real as it should have been. But now, on Christmas Day, that love would find its Beloved, and from You receive the grace to make it pure again, warm and real.
We bring You our gratitude for every token of Your love, for all the ways You have heaped blessings upon us during the years that have gone.
And we do pray, Lord Jesus, that as we celebrate Your birthday, we may do it in a manner well pleasing to You. May all we do and say, every tribute of our hearts, bring honor to Your name, that we, Your people, may remember Your birth and feel Your presence among us even yet.
May the loving kindness of Christmas not only creep into our hearts, but there abide, so that not even the return to earthly cares and responsibilities, not all the festivities of our own devising may cause it to creep away weeping. May the joy and spirit of Christmas stay with us now and forever.
In the name of Jesus, who came to save His people from their sins, even in that lovely name we pray. Amen.