O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
which lies tonight beneath a sky that glows not with the light of Christ but with the fires of conflict.
Your streets are blighted by violence.
Your people live in fear.
Your sleep does not come easily.

You yearn for peace, for hope, for a miracle.
A miracle of two thousand years ago,
and of right here and right now.

And unto you this day in your city of David
is born a saviour who is Christ the Lord.

From a God who does not look down at a far off Earth and see stillness and silence,
but who came himself into the broken, messy, unjust reality,
to a stable that was a place of last resort.

For all of God’s children everywhere,
who he will love in our happiness and our sadness, in our tears and our joy.
This truth we believe, and we believe it for it is Gospel.
That in even the darkest days of Earth in the darkest places on Earth,
the dark night will wake,
and glory will break,
and Christmas will come once more.

Tonight we pray for the people of the West Bank,
to whom the truth of the incarnation was first revealed,
and for all the victims of violence, terrorism, and inequality around the world.

We remember Mary, who said yes.
We pray for ourselves, the living body of her son Jesus Christ, that we will also say yes.
For the modern day prophets.
For activists and truth tellers, for diplomats and peacemakers.

We glory in the birth of a child who would live to change the world,
and we pray for all of God’s children who today seek still to change a world that needs changing.

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