A prayer for the first Sunday after Christmas Day.


The year is almost done.

We know that years don’t really contain events, but they are our way of keeping track of what happens. Some of us are relieved that 2019 is almost done. It’s been a year with painful moments and tragic events.

Some of us are relieved that 2020 is almost here. It will let us feel like we have a second or fourteenth chance.

As we think through the year, we are aware of worthy and unworthy,

Of failings and being a failure,

Of successes and being a success,

Of boring moments and being a bore,

Of moments and events that we cannot handle.

We are, we confess, afraid.

We are afraid of success, because what goes well might fall apart.

We are afraid of failure, because everyone will see the real us.

We are afraid of death, of dying broken with you angry at us or ignoring us.

We come to you, Jesus, merciful and faithful high priest,

But we’re pretty sure that you aren’t glad to see us.

Missing completely the fact that you came to us,

glad to see us,

willingly living and suffering and dying and rising to become our merciful and faithful high priest.

You understand our ambiguity about years.

You lived through moments just as painful, events just as tragic, time just as boring as ours. So help us, Jesus, to live in time, to give up fear, to love more, to care more, to rest more next year that this year, next week than this week, life ahead more than life so far.

Let us rest in your grace and mercy, Jesus.