But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11 (NRSV)
On this night, we celebrate that all that has been told about this child is true. And it wasn’t true just 2,000 some odd years ago but is true today. Jesus may no longer be incarnate, present in the world in the form of our earthy humanity. But God’s glory has not left. God’s glory remains active in the world through those of us who continue to tell and live this story.
One way we do this is by coming to this Table. It is a witness to the bond between heaven and earth, Creator and created, Savior and saved. Let us give thanks for the Light that shines in the darkness.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Eternal God, because of your deep compassion, the Dawn from heaven broke upon us, giving light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Faithful God, we are humbled by your gift of good news of great joy to the world. Let heaven and nature sing that, indeed, the Lord has come.
Immanuel, God with us, God’s glory made flesh, Peace on earth. The Psalmist wondered how it was that you made us and care for us. The wonder of Christmas is the magnitude of the love by which you became one of us. Jesus, our Savior, you rule with truth and grace. We join all creation as we repeat the sounding joy that our Savior reigns.
Spirit of Grace, you make the wonder of Christmas live in us each day. May our heart – and every heart – prepare you room.
As you kindle the Light of Christ in our hearts so that we may share it with the world, we come this evening to have that light renewed. In the same way you moved through that upper room, we pray that you would move through this place tonight. Glorify God by bringing this story to life in the bread and cup we share. May it be the bond between heaven and earth that brings peace and goodwill to all people.
With the joy of Christmas, we join our voices together in the familiar words of Jesus. Our Father…
The first Christmas was an act of communion: the water that broke, the blood that was shed, the breast that fed Jesus. All of these things, so earthy and human, but at the same time the very presence of God. Like the angels, like the shepherds, like the incarnation, this meal is a declaration of God’s glory.
This cup and this loaf are for you at the same time it is not just for you. The good news of great joy is for all people, and so is this meal. All are invited to share in the miracle of Immanuel, God with us.
Prayer After Communion
In the darkness, we hear the prophet John proclaiming that the Lord Most High is coming. Because of our God’s deep compassion, the Dawn from heaven broke upon us, giving light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Immanuel, full of grace and truth and the glory of God, through this meal, you open our eyes to see what you bring to light. You cast the darkness from our eyes so we may see. You cover us with your compassion so we may also have compassion on ourselves and others. Until the day when we make our home with you, may the glories of your righteousness and the wonders of your love truly be Good News of great joy for all people. Amen.
 Psalm 8:4
If you are looking for more liturgical resources, please consider checking out my book:
Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for WorshipPrayers for the People is a collection of prayers for worship. These prayers offer the worshipping community fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.