She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’
We need our world turned upside down, Jesus;
We need our self-importance and self-sufficiency to be undermined;
We need a new way of being that is built on a whole new set of
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
O Holy God of Promise,
we so often place our trust in the things we can see,
and touch, and easily believe.
But you did not ask us to believe what is easy,
you have asked us to believe what is true!
Forgive us, Holy One, when we doubt the ways you work.
Forgive us when we find it hard to believe an ancient story.
Forgive us when we question how you chose to enter the world,
born as one of us.
Forgive our lack of faith and belief
in ways which seem so impossible to believe.
Help us to look in faith, open our belief, and set aside our doubts
that you sent your Son, born of a virgin –
the one who has come to set us all free.
We offer these prayers in the name of your Son,
Emmanuel, God with us.
Jan Brook, Presbyterian Pastor serving in Kansas