In this season when we’re urged to spend and max out our cards and pay later and not count the cost;
when many people really give until it hurts, until there’s nothing left for necessities, until they start a new year not in high hopes but deep in debt;
In this season where gold and frankincense are balanced with myrrh, may we remember to share those things that have value beyond price:
· to smile at a stranger or an harassed parent struggling with a tired and screeching two-year-old;
· offer to help with a neighbour’s heavy bags;
· chatting with the socially awkward person who’s really interesting if you give them a chance to be…
The random act of kindness:
· holding the lift doors open for someone running late,
· letting the shopper with just a few items go through the checkout first,
· saying thank you even when you didn’t want fries and the service isn’t that great.
Leader: Let us give thanks for uncompromising love in all creation
As we hear familiar stories at this time of year, may we listen as though for the first time; let go of cynicism or boredom, and we be open to the wonder of our life-stories told afresh.
We give thanks for story tellers:
· novelists and philosophers
· playwrights and poets
· preachers and journalists
· cartoonists and film makers, who show us our world through others’ eyes.
We give thanks for those who are wise—who journey out to strange lands and unknown territories in search of truth or to bring justice.
We give thanks for those who are foolish—who turn things upside-down for us, who tell our tales from a different angle, dangling laughter and paradox and possibility in front of our everyday view.
Leader: Let us give thanks for the mystery in all creation
We give thanks for those who remind us to take deep breaths when we need them.
Who make happy-ever-after seem achievable, who make the good guys win and the baddies get their just desserts.
And we give thanks for those who remind us that in real life, bad things do happen to good people and we don’t know all the answers.
We give thanks for those who give us hope.
We give thanks for those who tell tales of challenge and change;
· for anti-heroes and heroines who show that it’s never too late to become at peace with those around us;
· that we’re never too old to learn new tricks;
· that no matter how like the old Scrooge we might feel, we can act with love and compassion – and our actions will inspire and transform our attitude.
Leader: Let us give thanks for the radical love in all creation
In this season of giving and getting, forgetting and remembering, may we find wealth in generosity of spirit.
May our sense of priority in this season be that we honour life, beginning with the life we each have and moving on into the life that surges all around us.
Spirit of love, creativity, novelty, joy, meaning, peace and hope –
in spite of all the challenges on earth and in our personal lives, we give thanks for the grace, compassion and persistent love throughout the universe; for the possibility and promise of transformation, and for hope reborn each year.
for grace, for compassion, for the promise of transformation
for the persistent love in all creation
we give thanks.
written for Ephesus group Christmas programme
© Bronwyn Angela White (2008)—