A Christmas and New Year Prayer.

This year I was able to share a Christmas prayer and blessing with my family. It's a prayer that will hopefully help us remember and celebrate Christmas and what that means to us, but also to carry what that means throughout the year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!!

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This Christmas season and coming year may we remember love, joy, peace and hope.

May we remember to love those right next to us, love those far from us and even love those who are hard to love.

May we cling to hope.

May we hold on to peace.

May we scatter joy.

May we remember His law is love and his gospel is peace.

May we remember that Christmas just means God came to us and He is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus came in a form that didn't seem right for a Saviour, but that by coming this way He became Immanuel. Jesus came to be with us.

Let us not forget that.

May we carry Christmas through the rest of the year. This upside down way of loving that Jesus tells us about, where we love our enemies, where swords are beaten into ploughshares, where we can be farmers who sow and cultivate peace, hope, love and joy instead of warriors for division, war, pain and oppression.

May we allow our weary souls to rejoice in the fact that He has come.

May we have good memories and remember the responsibility we have to be ambassadors of this hope, of this love, of this peace and of this joy.

May we remember that we are meant to put into action these things we believe...these things that begin with Christmas.

May we start paying attention to where more love needs to be shown, where more light needs to be reflected, when it's time to move to action, to pay attention to where we can be sowers of love, joy, and peace, but also when it's time to sit in the brokenness and hold onto hope.

May we remember that God is love and that Jesus came to show us a different way. A way to love God and love our neighbors. A way to even love our enemies. A way to be a part of a bigger story that's about love, joy, peace, hope and wholeness. Where everyone is accepted, loved and shown dignity and respect.

May we do the hard work of peacemaking, not just peacekeeping. Remembering that we must be creators of peace.

May we remember that there is no us and them. There's just us. We belong to each other. Jesus came for all of us and we don't get to decide who belongs and who doesn't, we just get to love.

May we remember that Jesus came so God could better engage with us. May we remember that God speaks uniquely to all of us and that its God's desire for us to respond to that.

May we go away from this season and into this new year remembering these things and knowing that we don't walk into whatever lies ahead alone because God is Immanuel and because we have each other. We weren't meant to do life alone.

God is with us and God is love.

Let us not forget that.