A Christmas prayer for you

Viruses.  Killing.  Fires. Violence.  Incivility.  Storms.  Hatred.  Drugs. Upheaval. Insecurity.  Shootings. Uncertainty.  Abuse. Earthquakes. Heartache. Scandal. Division.

If these are some of the words you might use to summarize the past year, you are not alone.  It seems in every direction we turn, the brokenness of our world becomes more readily apparent while the beauty of life is harder to find.  Things we thought we would never see are now commonplace.  Things we thought would end long ago continue.  We can even be tempted into wondering if anyone even cares.

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Perhaps you are fearful.  Perhaps you are tired.  Perhaps you are angry.

Perhaps you are just looking for a reason to hope.

It is for you that we offer this Christmas prayer.

May your heart be joyful in celebrating the birth of a King who loves you enough to leave His heavenly realm, take on flesh, and lay down His life, for you.

May you experience the glory of knowing that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

May the praise of His virgin mother echo in your soul as you sing her words, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

May the simplicity of the shepherds’ worship be yours.

May His example of loving the lost, the lonely and the hurting, be the star you follow in life.

May His birth remind you that He, too, was once an unborn child.

May you always have a child-like faith.

May you always have room for Him in your heart.

May you not fear the trials of a broken world.

May you always see the cross in the shadow of the manger.

May you bow in awe, even at Christmas, at the empty tomb.

May you expectantly watch for His imminent return.

May you trust that one day, for all who have loved His appearing, every tear will be wiped away and all will be made new.

No more viruses.  No more killing.  No more fires. No more violence.  No more incivility.  No more storms.  No more hatred.  No more drugs. No more upheaval. No more insecurity.  No more shootings. No more uncertainty.  No more abuse. No more earthquakes. No more heartache. No more scandal. No more division.

Find hope in the real meaning of Christmas: for unto us, a child is born.

Glory to God in the highest.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Mike Fichter
President and CEO