Christmas: Welcoming the Gift

Where can you find a small sacred space for prayer and quiet on this holy day? For Christmas and Epiphany, I’ll suggest small “everyday” items to guide your prayer and reflection. You can find the St. Benedict quotation printable here.


Isaiah 9:2-7
A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
and authority will be upon his shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be vast authority and endless peace
for David’s throne and for his kingdom, establishing and sustaining it
with justice and righteousness now and forever.

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.

Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you–wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”

Add a gift tag to your sacred space, and celebrate the coming of God’s great gift. If you like, write on the tag: Where do you recognize the gift of Jesus in the world today? How can you welcome the Good News for all?  

The gift of Christmas is good news—for all people.

“The news” is so often in… well… the news these days. And rarely is it good. Often it’s not “good” because it’s badly done. Other times it’s not good because it’s bad news, period. More than ever, we may have to dig deep in our imaginations to remember what real good news sounds, looks, and feels like.

Even more importantly, we have to imagine that what is “good news” for me might not be truly Good News to all people. More than ever, our concern for each other—even for people whose needs and fears and lives are the least like our own—must guide us to seek and to celebrate goodness for all.

The gift and the great Good News of Jesus’ arrival with us was—is—for all. As we spend this holy day giving and receiving, how can we seek and celebrate gifts that bring Good News to all people? When we give them, and when we receive them, we can bring glory to God, raising our voices in Glorias with the angels and alongside “all families of the nations.”

Welcome, child of salvation,
child of glory!

You who are born this day,
be born not only in memory,
in nostalgia and tradition,
in art and poetry,
in song and sentiment—
but be born in us, we pray.

Let us make good news in your name,
shocking jaded observers with
our conviction to hope in spite of headlines
our commitment to peace instead of war’s plunder
our claim to joy in the face of disillusion, and
our communion of love enriched by our differences.

Let us then find our voices.

Bolster us to use them bravely
so we can be your heralds,
calling out good news of hope, peace, joy, and love
to the weary world!

Come, Lord Jesus,
be our guest.
The wait is over.
And we await you still.

Welcome, child of salvation, this day and ever more—
Welcome, child of glory, light-bringer.
Welcome, Good News to all people.

We open the door to you!

Set for a Christmas Crèche (Nativity), by Leonardo Scaglia, ca. 1750. In the collection of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

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