Thank you for bare trees outlined in white,
and steely gray skies brooding over the blue lake.
Thank you for the sound of wind
rushing all the way from the far north.
Thank you for the crack of ice puddles
under our feet, and the cold smell of winter.
In this dark season, thank you for Christmas,
and the gift of a child of hope.
Thank you for news so good,
it still rings out as voices around the world
speak of good tidings of great joy
which shall be to all people.
Thank you that billions of people each day
love their neighbor, opening their door,
sharing what they have,
trying to find a way to live in peace.
Thank you that the best laid plans
of those who sow hatred and fear,
will come to nothing.
Thank you that your angels tell us to “Fear not.”
Thank you for hope that lives even in places
designed to be hopeless.
Hope ringing out and over every wall,
rising up in refugee camps,
walking through locked prison doors,
simmering in the hearts of those brought low,
rising up in the laughter of children
who have no home and no citizenship.
This Christmas open us to this revolutionary hope,
and your new ways of seeing and being.
Where there is judgement in our families, bring acceptance.
Where there are grudges, your sweet release.
Where love has faltered, renew it like the dawn,
and give us words to tell those we love
what they most want to hear.
Let hope be born again in our humblest, darkest places
as we join with the angels in their song of joy,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace.”
Let this be our benediction,
let this be our song in the morning,
let it be on our lips, and in our hearts;
“Glory, hallelujah, jubilee…Christ is born today.”