A Prayer for Christmas and 2016

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Most of us have moved a long way from being starry-eyed children ripping open presents on either Christmas eve or morn to get at what’s inside. Whatever it is they think it’s going to make them happy. No, now I’m the grandfather watching the starry-eyed kids hoping that what they find inside will make them happy.

Stars have always been associated with hope and promise. Remember this? “When you wish upon a star; makes no difference who you are; when you wish upon a star your dreams come true.” Or what about this one? “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might . . . .”

If I were preaching a Christmas sermon this year I would retell the story of the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12 but turn it on its ear a bit. Normally the focus is on the magi with the application urging us to be like them, always seeking Jesus. “Wise men still seek him,” right? Of course that’s true but I need something more than that this Christmas and throughout 2016. And so does the EFCC.

We need to be like the star, pointing and leading people to Jesus.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-16, NIV 2011)

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19, NIV 2011)

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ . . . . Pray that I may proclaim it clearly.” (Colossians 4:3-4, NIV 2011)

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2, NIV 2011)

I am praying and will continue to pray throughout 2016 that you and your church and the EFCC and all of its churches, ministries and leaders will be like stars holding forth the word of life, pointing and leading people to Jesus.

If you can, will you pray that for me also and join me in praying that for the EFCC?