Immanuel,1 you are our Wonderful Councilor and Prince of Peace.2 Today we celebrate the birth of true freedom, which is in Christ. If you had not stepped into our world as a child, we would never have known the freedom and liberty of salvation—the ideals of our founding fathers never would have been formed. We thank you for our nation, but recognize that you didn’t come into the world for America, but for all mankind; you came that we might see a day without war and without borders. You came, born in a manger, so we might be reunited with an Everlasting Father who stepped out of eternity3 to save his children:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11, NIV)
Mighty God, thank you for sending your son to redeem us. You have seen the pain of this world and sent us an advocate and comforter.4 I pray for the leaders of our nation. In this Christmas season, may their households be blessed for their service, and may they be reminded of your grace in establishing their posts.5 May they seek your favor in the coming year and be granted the gift of wisdom. Above all, I lift up the men and women of our armed forces who cannot be with their families this Christmas. Protect our soldiers and comfort their loved ones. Remind us of their sacrifice as we worship your plan of salvation, singing with the heavenly hosts: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14, KJV)
(1) Matthew 1:23 (2) Isaiah 9:6 (3) John 1:1-5, 14 (4) John 14:16 (5) Romans 13:1
Please also see our Christmas Day post: Immanuel, God With Us.
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© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.
Photo Credits: ISAF Photo by U.S. Navy Mass Communications Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. Nelson