Dec  2009 27
And So It Is Christmas

We contemplate the impact of Christmas on our lives in this prayer by Kay Northcutt.


            First Sunday after Christmas


And so it is Christmas, God,

the presents opened, the guests arrived,

the incarnation gently bumping into us

all around and in between and behind and before us


It is now, God,

that we discover the fruit born of our

Advent waiting-time and preparation



on this first Sunday after Christmas

some of us must confess

that nothing measurable has been received,


or transformed for us

in the miracle birth of God-with-us, Emmanuel


It is now,

after the breathless party-whirl and

feasting have subsided,

now, in the Christmastide, that we come to discern

whether, like the stingy innkeeper,

we have managed to resist the Christ child;


like those hard-working shepherds,

we are amazed dazzled and transformed;


like Mary, we are consumed with pondering and praying,

overwhelmed by the change this infant has brought to our lives


As we catch our breath in this time

of calm before the spin of New Year activities,

we long to get back to normal,

to remembering

and living

in gratitude for the gifts,

the daily gifts,

of life and breath and loving relationships


Continue, God, to lead us beside the still waters

as we resist the consuming patterns of our culture—

all these sales

that tempt us to believe

one more time

that something outside of ourselves

can fill our desire.

O, God, persist with us until

we understand that something "50 percent off" is no bargain,

and that we will surely

miss this gift called "life"

if we do not become finally

as the lilies of the field


Hear our prayers

for those in our church who know the anguish

of illness

or of diminishment for any reason, by any cause.

As we labor over soups and letters and acts of kindness,

bless our work,

so that miraculous comfort—your comfort—

will arrive with our broth,

our words,

our work


Thank you, God, for your gift, Emmanuel.

We long,

we hope,

we prayer

to fully receive it



Kay Bessler Northcutt, Praying by Heart: Prayers for Personal Devotion and Public Worship (Cleveland, OH: United Church Press, 1998), 14-16.  Used by permission.

Browse more posts by: Kay Lynn Northcutt, Former Faculty
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