Heavenly Father, when sin entered the world, it brought a burden that we did not know how to bear. The first man and woman hid, then attacked. And so began our struggle to find an answer to our fundamental problem. Our attempts to cope grew and diversified. We gave into violence, overfed our appetites, redefined reality, and built towers of works. Despite our attempts, relief did not last. Policies failed. Kingdoms fell. Pain, guilt, fear, and shame persisted. Yet, you did not abandon us. You gave the promise of a child, the promise that Christmas would come. Loving Father, show us again how the coming of Christ answers the chaos in the world and the darkness in our hearts.
Son of God, your arrival exposes our failure to save ourselves. You did not wait until we fixed ourselves, but met us in our weakness, confusion, and rebellion. It took your condescension and incarnation to lift our burdens. You were crushed so that we could be lifted up. But even today, we put our hope in things that cannot save and will not last. Great Redeemer, show us again how your birth, death, and resurrection bring peace to the world and light shining into our hearts.
We have often put the weight of our longing for peace on policies, leaders, and money, but these cannot bear the burden. Holy Spirit, help us to put our politics and finances in their proper place by first finding our hope, peace, and rest in you.
We have often put the weight of our need for righteousness on our successes, skills, reputation, and relationships, but these cannot bear the burden. Holy Spirit, help us to put our good works and standing with others in their proper place by first finding our forgiveness, righteousness, and identity in you.
Even on Christmas, we often put the weight of our desire for satisfaction on tradition, experiences, and gifts, but these cannot bear the burden. Holy Spirit, help us to put the joys of Christmas in their proper place by first finding our joy, satisfaction, and contentment in you.
O God of our salvation, we thank you and praise you for bringing our redemption through the promise of Christmas. Amen.