Voices This Christmas

There’s a lot of voices speaking
all at once, at high volume

as we listen for God’s voice

this Christmas. 


Marketers trumpeting,

drawing our attention

to all that we lack,

claiming only they can save us.

Social media buzzing

with the world’s gossip,

the doings of the rich and famous 

and the fall of the glamorous.

News announcers reporting

the bad news from everywhere,

every evil thing done under the sun

and the daily list of casualties.

Politicians posturing,
saying, “All is well!”
soothing us with their power,
their opponents yelling, “All is lost!”


Protesters chanting,

outrage in their voices,

as they call for justice,

accountability and change.

And then there are our own inner voices
reminding us insistently

of all we have failed to accomplish,
the tyranny of the to-do lists. 


Words clatter all around us,

and we wonder if, this Christmas,

we will have ears to hear

the message of angels on any level.


This Christmas will teenage girls

drop their phones as they see light, 

not from a screen, and respond,

“Here am I, a servant of the Lord”?


This Christmas, will men dream dreams,

that speak of things to come 

and safe paths in dangerous times,

and will they wake and take them?


This Christmas will seniors,

who are long past childbearing,

hear prophesies in a personal way,

and have their lives changed by that revelation?

This Christmas, will farm workers 

in the fields fall face down
when confronted with messengers
glowing with the glory of God?


Will they hear the message “Fear not,”

and the rock solid words,

“Look, I am bringing good news

of great joy for all people.”


This Christmas will we hear 

the bold words of the angels

still ricocheting through space,

“A child is born this day, the Messiah, Christ the Lord.”


This Christmas will we leave our business

abandoned on the ground,

dropping everything for the chance

to worship for a moment on our knees?


This Christmas will we be amazed 

at what God can do,

will we treasure these things,

these amazing things, in our hearts?


This Christmas will we go to our homes,

our bodies humming with the vibrations

of the harmonies of heaven 

sung by ageless choirs?


Listen!  They are still singing,

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace,

good will to all people.”


God who brought to life 

this story of salvation,

give us ears fine-tuned 

to the message of hope.

Like a mother who can hear

her baby crying through any crowd,

give us all ears to hear

the voice calling to us, 

the voice of Jesus this Christmas.

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

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.

  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner  www.leadinginworship.com.”

    Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used.  You can reach me at carol@leadinginworship.com.