Wrap Your Christmas in Prayer

Regardless of which faith we practice or don’t practice,

this Christmas

let’s wrap our Christmas or Hanukkah or Bodhi Day or Tulsi Pujan Diwas or…

celebrations in PRAYER.

The Christian Advent season has begun. It’s our time to prepare for Christmas, to renew our joy and commitment to our faith, to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Some of us purchase Advent calendars to enjoy the ritual of opening a little door every day of December until Christmas. There’s always a surprise, often chocolate, a Bible verse, or a toy.

For me, preparing for Christmas is fun. The sparkle of outside lights speak of love and care for our communities and the world.  Whether or not you claim to be Christian, it seems there is always more joy, more kindness, more love expressed at Christmas. I believe it’s because some of us are celebrating the birth of Jesus, a baby who grew up to be a great teacher, who did light up the world. He emphasised love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance. His message lives on still today after two thousand years.

This year, war fills the news. Technology allows us to hear bombs landing, bullets pounding. Chaos, destruction and death comes into our livingrooms. Some of us write letters to politicians, demonstrate, give money for relief efforts. All of us shake our heads in sadness. Regardless of our faith, we can all pray. Pray for peace every single day.

In Canada we can live and teach peace every day. Christian or not, every preparation for coming celebrations can be wrapped in prayer and love and given to others. Some people complain. “Too much spending, too much work, too many gifts, too much food.” Yet, even the loudest complainers aren’t quite ready to completely abolish Christmas.

Instead, let’s ensure that during this December, we will be friendlier to strangers; we will stop to talk, lend a helping hand, drop coins in the Salvation Army buckets. We can make our world softer, more joyful.

I believe, the best way to adopt an attitude of light and love is to wrap our Christmas season, and our living in prayer. How?

Give thanks for each person on our list. Think about what we love best about that person. Feeling that love may bring to mind an inspired gift. When wrapping presents, give thanks for all that is good in the person to receive it. Focus on the good times we’ve had together. We can smile, send our love through the air. Ask for God’s joy for that person. Do the same with the next gift, and so on. Those of us who bake cookies, cakes or pies can let love fill our minds as we roll out dough, or run the mixer. Think about the people who will share in this food, about their joy in eating it, of the laughter. Surely it will be part of your gathering around the table. Worship each week according to your faith choice. Open your heart in prayer for the message of hymns, prayers and reflection.

Christmas can be all work, or full of creative opportunities. We are each in charge of what happens. The more we pray, the more we will discover the joy and fun that God intends for us. Give it a try. Pray. Let go of your complaints. They don’t change anything anyway. You can choose to see and experience joy. You can choose to create joy for others. Give it a try. This Christmas, pray for love, acceptance, forgiveness and joy for each person in your life, friend, family, stranger. I guarantee it will make a difference for you. Thanks be to God.



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