Christmas Prayers of the People

Dear God, we admit that it is a wonder that babies can be born right now. As we look at the little eyes and noses, we think how can this happen right now?

Joy flashes, followed immediately by prayers for all those who have been working in the midst of a dumpster fire.

The doctors, nurses, administrators, chaplains and custodians.’

As we sit here, on this lone noel, we miss those family and friends we cannot see,

and grieve all the lives lost to a pandemic. We cry and mourn with all of those missing parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, for whatever reason. We also lift up those communities that have been especially hard hit.

Communities of color, communities in poverty, communities that work as essential works. Be with them this Christmas.

We grieve that we are in a universe that values money and jobs over people, and we grieve too all the jobs and homes and work that has been lost, because they affect people.

We grieve for all of those who are struggling: the homeless, the hungry, the almost homeless, the ones drowning in medical debt, those who are living off credit card for lack of a community structure that helps.

Please help us to do a better job of caring for one another as a community.

Lord, we feel like we are caught in the fire and in the world. Help us as we muddle through.

Remind us that Jesus too came into a dumpster fire of the world. He was born and cried, and suffered huger and marginalization and loneliness. Jesus knew the world was on fire,

And Jesus came anyway.

As Mary, who knew all the pieces of what was to happen, pondered at the wonder of a baby being born in the middle of this.

Give us permission to ponder and wonder as to how this happens. And lift our prayers to Jesus, helps us to feel and experience Christ’s love somehow in the midst of all of this.

Jesus we need you so much.

Please come anyway, we pray.


Feel free to use with credit Pastor Katy Stenta

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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