Christmas Eve prayer

O God of incarnate love, we come to this blessed Christmas Eve with the awe of the shepherds who, when they beheld the Savior who had come into our world, praised your majesty and holy name. Your incarnation reveals your glory in all creation. In the nativity scene, we see the reflection of your image and glory — in the child and the family, the animals at the manger, the shepherds and magi who came to worship, following the star in the sky.

Help us to know that your image and glory are manifest in each face, each creature, each star around us on this holy night.  We remember especially the children who hold the promise of your glory, their wonder and joy. And parents who bear the promised hope, wise people who, like the magi, seek to discern God’s will and who witness to the promise of a Savior for all the earth. Tonight we seek your glory, O God, in all these faces — those with us this evening, those beloved ones who are gone but remain so present in memory, those far away in this pandemic year but near in our hearts.

Open our eyes on this holy night, to behold your light in the darkness of our broken world.  Indeed, on this hallowed night, we hold tight to your promise that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it, for after the waiting the true light that enlightens all has come into our world.

For this light and this promise, we lift our candles high on this silent night and give you thanks and praise.  Amen.

(based on Luke 2:1-14 and John 1:1-14)