ONE: Eternal One, in the midst of all the holiday busyness – the giving and receiving of gifts, we take time to marvel at the purest and most precious gift that you have given to us. The gift of your Son.
ALL: We also take time to remember the smaller, but still important gifts leading up to this ultimate gift
ONE: The strength that you gave to a young and scared teenaged girl to do the right thing even when it was hard. The wisdom that you gave to Joseph and the strength that you gave to him to take Mary as his wife even when he knew others would talk. The change of heart that you gave to the inn-keeper in offering the young couple a place to stay even when all of the luxurious rooms were taken up.
ALL: We are reminded that as great as this gift has been, there is an even greater gift coming
A gift that will be so far reaching that our minds are not able to comprehend it
We thank you for the gift that you have promised to us in the future – a new heaven and a new earth.
The gift of no longer having to face hardship or pain, sorrow or death, crying or anger.
ONE: The promise that there will be Shalom even though all we see now is violence, oppression, and disaster.
ALL: We commit ourselves to receiving this gift beforehand and acting as if this gift were already in our midst.
ONE: For in you – the Alpha and Omega we know that we have already received this new heaven and new earth in our hearts.
ALL: Thanks be to God.
To Read the Matthew passage: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%201:18-25&version=ESVUK
To Read the Revelation passage: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2021:6&version=ESVUK