Joyous Tidings at Christmastide
Lord Jesus Christ, when, on a winter’s night, I look up through the clear air at the stars, I can be very close to you and to your native Bethlehem.
It was at night that you first came to this earth. It was under the same stars that now gleam in this night sky that Mary first held you in her arms. It was by the faint light of these stars, still shining tonight, that the shepherds found their way to the stable, and discovered You, as the angels had said they would, lying in a manger.
Dear Christ, it is especially at Christmastime that I see and understand how close You are to those who live on the land. We have so many reminders of you! The stars and the moon at night and the sun by day- the same stars under which you were born; the same moon that shone that night on Bethlehem; the same sun that brightened your first days on earth. The stable and the farm animals that shared their quarters and their warmth with you, their Creator. The sheep and the shepherds that came to adore you- rough men, but good, truthful, honest and sincere.
O Jesus, Son of the Everlasting God, You are so wonderfully made one of us at Christmastime! You are our God, but You are our Brother, too. You are our King, but You came as a helpless little baby, longing for our love. Help us today and always to see You in all those with whom we come in contact. Let us never forget your own instruction, that whatever we do for the least of those around us, we do for You. Help us always to serve you in the generous, selfless spirit of the season, and we shall then be real Christians- more and more like You- other Christs.
(reprinted from the Rural Life Prayer Book, available here)