We want to offer a short prayer for you to pray today. Even if you have to sneak away to do so, we hope this can help you take a breath and spend a few minutes with God.
Take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself these next few minutes to be here, with God.
A reading from the Gospel of Luke:
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Jesus is here. Our prayers of “O come, o come Emmanuel” have been answered. In the midst of whatever this day brings, whether it is great joy or great suffering and anxiety, or a mix of both, God is with us.
Help us, Lord, to feel the wonder of this day. May we stand in awe beside the shepherds as we hear the angels declare the good news. May we kneel beside Mary and Joseph, and imagine both the joy at their sweet son’s birth, and the anxious anticipation: what will happen now? May we gently pick up the baby Jesus and gaze at his face. We know what awaits him, but oh, we are so grateful for a God who became small so that we could be with him. The world can never be the same. We can never be the same.
And as the day goes on, whatever it may bring, may we join our voices with the angels and shout with joy, “Glory to God in the highest!” Jesus has come!