December 25th, 2022

Luke 2: 1-7 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Light of the World, Prince of Peace, on this Christmas morning we celebrate Your coming to the earth in flesh. We worship you for becoming vulnerable, a baby, to live amongst us, revealing the heart of God.

Holy One, on this Christmas morning, we remember that your Son was born into a dangerous and troubled world. We hold in prayer our world today, where conflict dominates the news headlines, where injustice fuels oppression, and where the gulf between wealth and poverty widens; the same issues that took you from the cradle to the cross. Help all leaders – local, national, and global – to use their power for the good of all. Fill our world with the joyful hope that there is a better way. Help us live in peace.

Lord Jesus, as Mary gently cradled you in her arms, we pray for all women giving birth today, for all new born babies and for all expectant mothers. We pray for children who cry and are not comforted and for parents who fear for their children’s safety. Born into a human family, we give thanks for our families who will gather at the table for Christmas dinner and we remember those who cannot be with loved ones at this time. We pray for family members who are far from home due to weather and closed roads. Keep them safe and warm. Protect first responders, road workers, and health care providers and all who are working today to keep us safe and well.

Emmanuel, God-with-us, we pray for all who will be alone today, without family or friends, without enough to eat, with no place to live, or suffering due to the elements. We pray for refugees, especially those fleeing violence in Ukraine, living far from home in an effort to find food and shelter for their children. Bless the work of those who give up this day to bring joy and hope to others – for those who have opened their homes and for warming centres open to provide food, warmth and shelter. May the gifts of Christmas – hope, joy, peace, and love – abound and warm the hearts of those in need and those who serve.

God of compassion, speak words of comfort and love to those grieving, those suffering loneliness or sickness of body or mind. Bless the work of those who offer a listening ear to the needy and those living with addiction or mental illness. May the peace of Christ be with them and may they know they are never alone.

As Covid and significant cold/flu viruses circulate in our communities and families, we pray for healing, grace and protection over all.

We pray for our Households of Faith. Through Christ we pray, Amen.