A Christmas Prayer

Day-breaking God, we come to meet you this morning.
We come as the mighty and the lowly,
threadbare shepherds just in from the fields,
stately magi come on a caravan.
We gather together around a baby in a manger in a stable behind a small town inn.

We gaze together upon a newborn infant fidgeting in sleep.

We hear the soothing hum of a mother,
the stalwart silence of a father,
the rustle of hay and the footfall of the cattle and the donkey,
the occasional flurry of wings in the rafters,
the almost silent padding of a cat on the floor,
the shifting weight of all of us gathered, watching.

What are you dreaming as you squirm in sleep?
What world of possibility inhabits your dreams?

Are you dreaming a future for us?
Are you dreaming endless peace for a war-torn world?
Are you dreaming earth restored to balance?
Are you dreaming a banquet for the hungry?
Are you dreaming healing for our illnesses and relief for our pain?
Are you dreaming dignity for the devalued?
Are you dreaming work for the unemployed?
Are you dreaming restored life for the addicted?
Are you dreaming calm for the anxious?
Are you dreaming restoration for broken relationships?
Are you dreaming a world of love and respect, communication and forgiveness?
Are you dreaming a world of song and dance, art and color,
poetry and mystery, delight and awe?

What beautiful new world are you dreaming for us?
Is it the world in which you want to grow?

Now your eyes flicker and open.
Morning is upon us.

Day-breaking God, God of the awakened infant.
What dreams linger as you open your eyes from sleep?
We meet you in these wide-open still-focusing infant eyes.
We look into your eyes.
You look back at us.

What do you see?

Do you see your dreams?
Do you see the world in us waiting to be?
Do you see deep into us and meet your own reflection as the morning star rising, bright day breaking in our souls?

Peer into us with your infant eyes and let your day break in us.
Let healing dawn in our wounds.
Let comfort dawn in our afflictions.
Let honesty dawn in our half-truths.
Let forgiveness dawn in our bitterness.
Let compassion dawn in our indifference.
Let joy dawn in our sorrows.
Let courage dawn in our fears.
Let hope dawn in our despair.
Let dawn break as the song of the angels bursting forth to sing in our hearts.

Day-breaking God, peer into us with your infant eyes and let your day break in us. Let us know your awesome power rising within us and among us to create the world of your dreams.

Day-breaking God, dawning as infant eyes blinking open in a dimlit stable,
what infinity stretches between our eyes and yours, what wonder, what hope?

In our gathering around you here
may we welcome all wonders in one sight and dream with you,
the wonders yet to be. Amen.

Dr. Susan M. (Elli) Elliott
December 26, 2004, December 25, 2005