Yesterday was the winter solstice, despite this crazy 70-degree weather…the nights are getting shorter, the days are getting longer, and the earth is on its annual move toward less darkness, more light.
There are so many places in the world and in our hearts that are longing for less darkness and more light, these days. This week, we celebrate Christmas – the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World. We’re reminded that The Light shines, even in darkness, that the darkness does not ever overcome it. As we enter into a time of prayer, I invite you to spend just a few seconds holding those people and places and situations where darkness seems to be reigning – hold them in the LIGHT of God’s love.
God of Light and Love,
We know all too well the places of darkness in our lives and in the world. On this day after the longest night, hear our prayers for light in darkness.
We lift up to you our sisters and brothers who struggle during these December days – with grief and loss, loneliness and isolation. Help us to know your love and be light into these dark places.
We remember all those across the world who fight for life and light in the midst of violence and poverty, in Syria and Sudan, Detroit and DC. Break through violence and oppression, God, and shine your light of freedom on these sisters and brothers.
We remember all those who are sick this Christmas – from bouts of pneumonia to battles with cancer. May your healing light shine through doctors, medicines, and good friends who keep us company in the midst.
We pray for those struggling with other kinds of darkness, sometimes un-nameable, but darkness all the same. May the longest night give way to morning’s possibility, new life, warmth and light.
God, even in the darkness, we can feel that the world is about to turn. We read your promises to Mary and Zechariah. We know the stories of you breaking in to pour love into impossible places. This week, as we celebrate you joining us here on earth, help us to remember that Jesus IS Light, that he is always with us, that your light breaks forth like the dawn.
Keep our faces turned toward you, God. Help us to trust that Light is coming, and help us to act in ways that reflect you. All this we ask in the name of Jesus, who is about to join us – again – as a wailing infant, bringing light and life to shepherds, peasants, barn animals, wise men, government officials, religious leaders, the worn, the weary, the complacent, the young, the old…bringing light and life to all the world, bringing light and life here, to this place, to us.