posted on December 26, 2009 13:33
A Prayer About the Day After Christmas
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:20
Heavenly Father, life just on the other side of Christmas day, no doubt, feels quite different to different people. For some of us, this was the “greatest” Christmas ever, in terms of healthy, caring relationships, incredible “eats,” thoughtful gifts, both given and received, and above all, a profound awareness of the indescribable gift of your Son, Jesus.
For others of us, it was a really difficult day. Palpable tensions in the house… hopes, once again dashed… the brokenness of our family and our world highlighted unlike any other day of the year. For some of us it was the first Christmas with an empty chair where a loved one used to sit, for others a day of excruciating lonliness.
Dear Father, my prayer today is for all of us, no matter what yesterday was like. For even our best days are in need of the gospel and none of our worse days are beyond the reach of the gospel. When the shepherds left Jesus’ manger, they were still shepherds… they still couldn’t worship at the temple; they still couldn’t give testimony in a court of law; they still were stereotyped as thieves by many in their community.
A part of me even romanticizes what Joseph and Mary did the day after Jesus was born. As though, all of the sudden, a 5-star Inn in Bethlehem did open up; as though Mary’s body would have been spared all the normal chaos and pain of birthing and afterbirth; as though angels would’ve started showing up as round the clock nurses.
Loving Father, thank you that we’re Christians, not Gnostics. We don’t have to pretend about anything. Christmas isn’t a season in which we’re supposed to be transported into a super-spirituality, rising above reality. The gospel isn’t about denial, but learning to delight in you, not matter what is going on. We praise you that Jesus came into a real world where everything is broken, but he did come to begin making all things new… starting with us.
Today, my prayer is that you would give each of us the special and the common grace you gave shepherds. Let us hear and let us see more of Jesus, even if we remain “shepherds” the rest of our lives. Enable us to glorify and praise you, Father, for you are not a man that you would lie about anything. Everything you have told us in your Word will come to pass. This is good news for shepherds and kings alike. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ faithful name.
Pastor for Preaching, Teaching and Worship
Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Rd.
Franklin, TN 37069
It's good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace Hebrews 13:9