Our family Christmas dinner is a conflict of emotions this year. We celebrate your son’s birthday and the ability for this clan to all come together in remarkable numbers. We celebrate a new birth and a new marriage. And yet our heart aches for one magic light that’s missing from the room.
Lord, I ask you to continue to heal those hearts who ache this Christmas season and allow us all to slowly release the pain and questions that rest in our hearts. Please enable us through your grace to know you are listening -- and that you care. Come to those who grief as the Father of all comfort.
Let us turn our eyes to you as we seek to find the strength to trust in your faithfulness. Hearts are crushed, but let us know that we are not abandoned. We simply have an angel that is waiting for us to greet us all when we are called home to your kingdom. Though difficult to see past today, let us trust in your great love and great master plan.
May the eternal memory of those we miss remind us that the hustle and bustle of life makes it easy for us to be absent from life’s real blessings far too much. Sorrow makes it impossible for us to be absent, and so, blesses us with real presence. In the midst of our sorrows, distractions fall away, and we are there, raw and open, often confused, always vulnerable, little and great. May that love provide an indelible mark on us forever and open us up to a deeper relationship with you and those in this room.
While the world celebrates around us, let us remember Christmas celebrations of the past. Remind us through dual magical and melancholy memories that you sent your son to be with us in our deepest sorrows and I know that he is by our side, here with us, grieving with us, caring for us, loving us. Let our sorrow act as a navigational compass for us to realize the truly important things in this life and draw deeper meaning and compassion in our relationships.
Lord, our God, this year, you reminded us of the fragility of the human condition and the brevity of our lives on earth. But for those who believe in your love, death is not the end, nor does it destroy the bonds that you forge in our lives. It simply makes them eternal. For that, we give thanks. Eternally.