[We celebrated our first Christmas Eve back in our sanctuary since a major church remodeling that was happening around this time last year. A year ago, we needed to worship in our Fellowship Hall for the candlelight service. During those five months of remodeling when we couldn't use our sanctuary, we learned to adjust to the situation knowing that God had big plans for our church. In addition to this candlelight service in the picture above, the Holy Hands Puppeteers led us in a fun glow stick Christmas Eve service also held in our sanctuary. Below is a picture of their skit, "Santa's Gift." Click here for the sermon.]
Loving God, we have already received many gifts these past several days.
I’m thankful for the Christmas candy someone gave me for my office candy dish, for the white elephant gift I received at our staff Christmas party, for the bag of peppermint chocolate candy, for the fun gift cards, and especially, especially, especially, for the homemade cinnamon rolls that had lots of icing on top.
O God, thank you for this fun time of year when we give each other these fun Christmas gifts to show our appreciation. Most importantly, in this season of gift giving, thank you for giving us the greatest gift we can ever receive, the gift of your Christ Child.
May the gift of the Christ Child transform our hearts and our minds to become more like you.
May the gift of the Christ Child bring peace to a very troubled world that is filled with threats of war, famine, and oppression.
May the gift of the Christ Child open our eyes to the beauty that is in our world.
May the gift of the Christ Child empower us to live out our faith through our words and our actions.
May the gift of the Christ Child unite us in spite of our many differences.
May the gift of the Christ Child bring healing and wholeness to those who are ill.
May the gift of the Christ Child bring hope to those who are in despair.
May the gift of the Christ Child be present with us now even as we pray
Our Father, who art in heaven…
[A picture from the Holy Hands Puppeteers' skit, "Santa's Gift" at our early Christmas Eve service where we used glow sticks instead of wax candles.]