It’s Christmas Day! Together, or apart, it’s time to celebrate!
Celebrate the angels and stars, shepherds and travellers, new parents and a new born child.
A love story full of danger, promise and intrigue
laying bare the beauty and compassion of an amazing God – our God!
Wake up baby God, we want to gaze into your eyes,
those eyes full of light and love and life and glory.
Let us see your baby hands – feel your tiny grip around a finger.
Your grip – a grip that can hold us and the whole world you made.
Wake up baby God, even now you speak volumes to us
in a gasp of life-giving air and the cry of new life.
Let us hold you and feel your weight, both fragile and immense.
Lord God, let us take stock of all that you are in this brand-new body,
the one you chose to come and be with us.
Thank you, Lord for letting us see you, read about you
and examine you dealing with human life and struggle.
Thank you for the pattern you showed us for our lives if we will only wake up and open our eyes to see your light and love and life and glory
Forgive us when we have slept, baby like, oblivious to the world around us.
Awaken us to all that you see, even in your infancy, from the borrowed manger where you were laid.
Baby God – God with us as we cry to you, welcome you and marvel at you.
Help us to welcome you, not only as a child but to embrace all the grace and glory that your human frame illustrated for us in life, death and resurrection.
God with us, today you stand at our stable door, bearing the unwrapped
open gift of unrelenting love and you invite us to take it, to relish it and to be joyful with it.
Waken us up Baby God, again, and again, and again. Amen
How much difference does it make when you have light to see by?
I have bruises on my legs from bumping into things when I need to get up in the middle of the night, because I can’t see well enough to avoid the obstacles! If I could switch the light on, I’d be less bruised!
Today we celebrate Jesus coming as light for the world, someone to shine a light, to illuminate the way for us to live to stop us from fumbling around in the dark, to show us clearly the way to know God, to throw a spotlight onto God for us and to show us God’s true nature.
Jesus’ light is also a light that will help us to see our own gifts for the building up of God’s kingdom.
And Jesus’ light illuminates our behaviour – and that can be an embarrassment for us!
But here is good news, great news! At the same time as illuminating our poor behaviour, Jesus also lights the way to a right relationship with God, who rewards us with undeserved love – that’s God’s grace!
When we turn our attention to Jesus, we find that through Him we can meet God, who greets us with a twinkle of candle light in his eye and a smile of recognition on his face.
Now, the Gospel writer John had a way with words and he decided not to talk about Jesus’ birth in the same way as the other Gospel writers did. He says nothing about Mary or Joseph or shepherds or kings, instead he summarised what people had come to understand about Jesus, that he was and remains the light of and the light for the world.
‘Listen’ for God’s word of light and life in John’s Gospel.
Read John 1: 1 – 14 The Word Became Flesh
A Prayer of Thanks!
Lord Jesus, we thank you that when the world was very dark you came to bring light into our darkness.
Lord Jesus, you come to us now – into our lives and into the world still bringing light to people.
Lord Jesus, as we look into the manger, help us to see there the light that shines for us not just today but every day Amen
Holding God’s Precious World in Prayer
Lord we come to you in prayer… listen for the murmurings of our hearts as we remember,
in a quiet moment, all those people who you have given to us to care for,
those near and those far away
We remember those amongst our Church Family…..
and our own families and friends…..
people who are a real gift to us, people who are struggling just now.
Wrap them as the precious gifts they are, in your love. as we wrap them with our love
We pray that they will know you to be with them, upholding them and touching their lives, because you have come, you are God with us:
Lord God, you brave our rejection and hurt and nonetheless you hold us in acceptance and love.
You have come, you are God for us:
The one who whispers in our ears that we – each and every one of us – is a precious and beloved child.
You have come, you are God under us:
The one who cradles us in arms that never grow weary; whose lap has room enough for all.
You have come, you are God over us:
The one who watches in the long silence of the night, so that we might rest in peace.
You have come, you are God beside us:
The one who steadies us when we falter, who lifts us up when we fall.
You have come, you are God behind us:
The one who picks up all the faded dreams we drop along the way and patchworks them into hope.
In Jesus, you Lord, God kissed the earth and us with the image and the brightness of eternal love.
You have come, God Immanuel – God with us! God within us!
And we will rejoice for ever! Amen
The Lord’s Prayer
Closing Words and Blessing
Remember that in Jesus God has blessed us with the love and the light that brought all life into being.
You are God with us – God Immanuel
Stay with us Lord, always and everywhere,
as we take the good news and joy of your coming among us onwards and outwards.
And may the smile of God warm us, may the light of Jesus lead us
and may the Holy Spirit blaze in our lives and fill us with love,
not only today, not only this Christmas-time, but throughout our lives.
I wish you a blessed Christmas, filled with the Peace, Hope, Joy and Love of God, through Jesus – God, in human flesh, with us and for us!
Revd Janine Atkinson