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Long Beach, CA

A Christmas Prayer

We confess, God, how easily we have been trained by a frightened world to abhor limits
To resist weakness
Clinging to semblances of strength and pretense of power
To appear rather than to be
Or filling our life with things to make our station seem more secure
As we age, to fight wrinkles and flee the reality of our fragility
And the world, for all our dancing, gets darker
As we see on our screens such images of pain and suffering
And hold in our hands our own hopelessness

But in this dark…the glory of angels singing
The night torn apart by light,
As you come to us as one of us
And we are undone
As the Holy One becomes All-Vulnerable
To make all things new

What can we say but, “Holy, holy, holy”
As glory greater than angel’s song overtakes us:
God born as child
Opening a new path for our feet:
In receiving you,
God who embraced our weakness,
A baby boy laid bear by the cold of winter nights
And the pain of loving so much
You who loved without breaking
You who walked the path from Bethlehem to Calvary
Securing resurrection in your wake
We, too, may be made whole by your coming

Give us grace to confess and embrace our limits
To be weak
To push away falsehood
And hold now, with fearlessness, the one who holds us
Freed from fear and death
Freed from fleeing all that is incomplete about us
Instead to come and be received in our low estate
By the one who receives all and holds all
As we confess with shepherds and angels and wise men
The hope of nations
The hope of all hearts
As we say with them, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to those on whom His favor rests”