Comfort My People, A Prayer for Celebrating Christmas This Year

We don’t know how we are going to get through this season,

They sat through my office and said,

And their pain sat visceral in the room.

And I nodded along and prayed that they could find places

where their grief could be invited along with them and given a place at the table.

God, this is a prayer that Christmas can be more of a season of comfort

for those who need it.

I sat in the cards shop the other day,

and could not find one card

that expressed the comfort that I wanted to say during this season

of pandemic-Christmas tide. And I think, God

of what it exactly it was that the shepherds,

and the (actually unnumbered) Magi

and John the Baptist and Mary were looking for on that dark night.

The tidings were Good News of Great Joy yes,

but also, I think, it was comfort that they hungered for

Wasn’t that the fulfillment proclaimed in the Magnificat?

Wasn’t that the first title given to Jesus in Isaiah?

Not mighty* or everlasting father! No!

The first thing named for the Savior to come Counselor! Comforter, and a Wonderful one at that.

Because Lord knows this advent we are black with mourning and grief.

There is no comfort candle on the advent wreath (at least not traditionally)

But that’s who you are, Holy Spirit, Comforter.

And Lord knows we need comfort!

God, may we let this season be one not just of Joy or Hope–

if we aren’t feeling those things, let that be ok.

Help us to make this, for those who need it,

be a season of Comfort.

Help us to create a Season of Comfort, for the lonely, the lost, the grieving, I pray.

Comfort your people. Please God, because you know, we sure do need it.

And maybe next year, we will add a comfort candle to the wreath–

Til then, comfort your people we pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Thanks to @byAndriaIrwin for the inspirational tweet

*note that the Hebrew word for this actually translates as God of many mounds, which means God of many worships spots (powerful/accessible) and God of many breasts/nourishing places. We have later shorthanded it as mighty.

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 7 years, 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 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. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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