In these trying times,
there is so much to be thankful for.
Thank you for the taste of gingerbread and chocolate,
for the cheeriness of twinkly lights at night,
for the fragrance of cedar and pine,
and the feel of warm drinks in our hands on a cold day.
Thank you for the way familiar carols sink into us
bringing back memories of Christmases long past.
Thank you for the gift of people who care for us,
even if they have to do that at a distance.
In these pandemic times,
as we gear up for another wave of infection,
we are waiting for your presence.
So many of us are tired or cranky;
we are worried about infection, about finances,
there is conflict in our families and communities
about the best way forward.
Give our politicians and public health officials wisdom
as they make decisions for the common good.
We confess that we ourselves are fed up,
irritation is so close to the surface,
and many of us have a hard time dredging up hope.
And yet your love continues to be born again,
it cannot be stopped by any virus.
You are born again this year in all who go the extra mile;
in health workers who do their jobs faithfully,
in clean-up crews picking up after tornados,
in everyday people reaching out in kindness.
You are with us every time we receive hard words
and return soft ones,
every time we give gifts to someone in need,
expecting nothing in return.
As Christmas plans get changed or modified this year,
one thing is sure and cannot be cancelled.
There will be angels.
Open our eyes to those who bring good news of great joy
to our aching world this year.
In the name of Jesus,
our newborn Saviour, we pray, Amen.