December 25, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
O Father God,
We thank You and praise You today for the miracle of Your Son’s birth. Thank You for bringing great JOY to the whole world! We’re humbled You chose to become human and make Your home among us, so “full of unfailing love and faithfulness” (John 1:14b).
We’re amazed how this now gives those of us who believe in Jesus as the Lord and Leader of our lives the absolute certainty we’ll spend eternity with You … that one day, we’ll see Your absolute glory.
We thank You, Father, for the many reasons we’ve been given a merry Christmas. And we rejoice for each blessing: New life. New love. A home. A job. New opportunities. Second chances. And more.
Lord, we know You are the King of kings, the invincible ruler of the entire universe. You bring the sun and the moon, and You set the stars in motion. You tell the ocean where to stop and the snow when to start. And we thank You for the mighty gift of Your creation.
We’re so grateful, Father, for spiritual leaders and faith-filled friends who keep encouraging us when we’re weary and simply want to give up.
And although we have many blessings to rejoice about today, Lord, we also know this day can be not-so-merry — for a whole host of reasons. We pray for those experiencing loss this Christmas, whether it’s relational, financial, spiritual or physical.
We pray for those coping with loving a prodigal, and we lift up all our friends and family members whose hearts are far from You. We pray for Your provision and protection for everyone dealing with a job loss, or an addiction or chronic sickness … and ask that You bring healing to unending pain and grant divine wisdom for our earthly frustrations. Thank You, Lord, for being the Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace, even in the midst of our not-so-merry circumstances.
Finally, Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches and peace in our hearts, especially when it feels like the world all around us spins out of control.
Help us stay focused on You, this Christmastime and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Your Son, so we might truly have a very merry Christmas, even in a not-so-merry kind of world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 72:12-14, “He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.” (NLT)
Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NIV)