A Prayer for Christmas Eve

     In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)

     Dear Lord Jesus, whether or not you entered our world anywhere close to our December 25th is irrelevant. That you were born—that you actually came from eternity into time and space—not as a metaphor or myth, fable or tale—but as our Savior, that’s what matters.

     We sing to you on this day with all the humility and felicity we can muster, “Born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.” We praise, bless, and adore you.

     Luke took great care to detail the history of your birth; but it’s the quietness of your birth that is noteworthy. Any other king would’ve come with great fanfare and a royal entourage. But you came into our world in utter stillness and profound weakness. “No room in the inn” wasn’t an insult to you; it was your choice, your plan, the way of the gospel.

     For you didn’t consider your equality with God something to be protected or hoarded. Rather, you made yourself “nothing,” becoming one of us—tabernacling among as God in the flesh, the Servant of the Lord. And with measureless humility and joy, you died in our place upon the cross.

    “Mild he lays his glory by. Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see. Hail, the incarnate Deity, pleased, as man, with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel!  Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Hallelujah, so many times over.

     We long for the Day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that you are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. It’s going to be a loud and large Day; but on this Christmas Eve, we humble ourselves, in quietness and stillness, gratefulness and peace. Thank you for coming to us, Lord Jesus—thank you for saving us from our sins. So very Amen we pray, in your great and gracious name