When the Christmas Season Is Complex and Painful

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16

Lord Jesus, these priceless words “grace upon grace,” have been impressed upon my heart in a timely fashion. Holidays make us grateful for your promised provision of daily mercies, sufficient grace and trustable-hope. It’s not all merriment.

Many of us are holding out for the last scene in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The hope of resolution and redemption, a happy gathering and a good ending would be wonderful, for sure. But whatever this Christmas season proves to be, you always prove yourself to be a most wonderful and merciful Savior. Thank you.

We pray for friends facing their first Christmas after the death of a loved one, for those whose Christmas is marked by a health crisis, and for those with prodigal daughters and sons. No one is as compassionate as you, Jesus.

Thank you for powerfully defeating sin and death by your first Advent. The next time we see you, you will eradicate those enemies forever. Jesus, hasten the Day of eternal delight, non-stop dancing, perfect relationships, and no more goodbyes.

We also pray for friends bracing to endure Christmas Eve and Day, in particular. Old wounds get easily triggered. Brokenness gets neon-lighted. Messy relationships seem messier. Personal agendas declare war on each other, and loneliness feels it’s loneliest.

Grant copious grace for complex scenarios and difficult stories, Lord. The world into which you were born was filled with madness and sadness, self-interest and self-indulgence. Thank you for coming to make your blessings flow (not drip), far as the curse is found.

Lord Jesus, surprise us with your calming, healing, liberating presence. Sweeten the bitter waters of brokenness with the new wine of your kindness. Free each of us to offer your welcome, forgiveness, and kindness—no matter the response. Indeed grant us grace upon grace upon grace. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.