Great Giver, Merciful and Mighty God,
Our hearts are full this night. Full of gratitude, for your grace upon grace, gratitude for the gift of another Christmas Eve. Our hearts are full of praise, for you have kept all your promises and come to be with us in Jesus Christ. Our hearts are full of concern: for the whole world, for your beautiful, broken world: for every soldier who keeps a watch this night, for every mama keeping vigil in a refugee camp, for our own precious friends and family mired in grief or illness.
And on this holy night, most of all, our hearts are full of the desire to know you, Eternal God.
We have responded to the call: O Come, Let us adore him!
So we gather before your manger now, Emmanuel. We wonder in awe that you dared to risk coming to we feckless, faithless, people. That you entered our world as an vulnerable infant born to a poor couple in an occupied territory in a dusty small town: who would have thought you, Maker of the Universes, would ever do that? You must love us. You love us! We gather before your manger bed in awe and wonder.
And this is our plaintive plea: Teach us how to adore you, Jesus.
We do not know how. Many loud voices try to tell us. They want us to believe this or vote that. We confess we are easily caught up in the melee of voices.
We come before you to proclaim: no voice but yours will save us! You are the Way, the Truth, the Life!
So teach us how to adore you, Jesus.
Teach us how to tell your good news to those who haven’t heard about your love. Teach us how to see you in the poor child and the desperate parent. Teach us how to welcome you in those who have been shunned. Teach us how to serve you in the prisoner and the immigrant. Teach us how to walk in your ways of peace amidst these days of terrorism and war. Teach us how to receive your forgiveness, for ourselves, in all our sins. Teach us how to let your forgiveness overflow from us to all. Teach us how to love you even in our enemies. Teach us how to be your church.
Teach us how to adore you, Jesus!
Teach us how to turn full hearts into lives fully following you, babe in the manger, ruler of us all. Amen.