And he [Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Eph. 2:17–18

Lord Jesus, Christmas is you coming near us though a crib, to make peace for us by your cross. We now live under this grand declaration, “No condemnation for your sin remains” (Rom. 8:1). Robed in your righteousness, we robustly sing, “His banner over me is love!” (Song of Songs 2:4). We are unfathomably, immeasurably beloved. We’re also called.

Jesus, you call us to live at peace with all people—”as far as it depends on us” (Rom. 12:18). We can’t control others, and shouldn’t try; but we can take responsibility for our wounds, wishes, and words. You’ve never promised to give us conflict-free relationships; but you have promised we’ll never know a Christ-absent day. You’ve also promised to do a bunch more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).

You destroy all kinds of hostilities and reconcile all kinds of people (Eph. 2:14-18). None of our relationships are beyond the need or reach of your grace. Forgive us for perpetuating bruised, distanced, chilly relationships. Too many people are dying from a virus. Too many people are dying alone. May your grace, not our grudges, shape the rest of our days.. Help us, Jesus. Free us. Heal us. So very Amen we pray, in your peerless and peace-full name.