A Prayer for Family Holiday Gatherings

Jesus, you grew up in a family
that did not always understand,
who questioned you and no doubt squabbled;
hear our prayer for family gatherings this year.
Thank you for families that get along,
showing unconditional love and support:
families that are flexible and adaptive,
that can stand any storm.
Bless all who are travelling to gatherings
that they can’t wait to get to.
And then there are other families,
where tension, suspicion and judgement
vie for power with love and acceptance.
Sentences begin with “You always…”
“I never…” and “Not this again….”
Bless those who are travelling to gatherings
with shields up, heads down,
not sure if they will find a home at all.
And then there are those who are not going home:
family members have died and there is no home to go to,
or they would love to go but it’s too far away and expensive,
or home is so toxic it’s healthier to stay away
Bless those who are working to create
new networks of caring and support: a church family.
God of hope, send angels down this year
to give good tidings of great joy
right in the midst of real-world family dynamics;
the good, the sad, and the ugly.
Let us be these messengers of hope,
improbable emissaries of a newborn king,
astounded witnesses
to family Christmas miracles.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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