Two years ago today, Rev. John Cullinan led this meditation at the Christmas Eve service at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, where he served as the ministerial intern. He now serves the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, New Mexico, where we will happily celebrate Christmas Eve in story and song with family and friends.
Bright blessings on you and yours, and Merry Christmas.
Postings will continue in the New Year, so stay tuned!
Christmas Eve Meditation
by Rev. John A. Cullinan
Put away, for one moment, all the anxiety and obligation of this season.
It is another time, another country– a place shattered by violence, oppression, and poverty. Its people cry out for peace and for love.
On a silent night much like any other night, to a family much like any other family, a child was born who would answer that call.
Tonight, we come together in celebration of that one night. It is a different time, a different country, and yet so much now remains the same. Our world is still touched by violence and fear, still cursed with poverty and oppression.
Tonight, we still cry out for peace and for love.
Tonight, we are reminded that the spirit of peace and love born on that night so long ago has not left us.
This is not the celebration of the rebirth of peace and love into our world, but a celebration of the renewal of the promise made in the birth of one child:
A promise that comes from unexpected places;
A promise that is renewed with the birth of each child;
A promise that sees its potential fulfillment in the faith and work of this community.
Tonight we celebrate the renewal of this spirit of love, and the renewal of our commitment to that spirit.
The spirit of this night is the touchstone of all our earthly endeavors in the name of peace and love.
All you who have lost hope look to this night and its promise of a renewed spirit.
All you who live in fear look to this night and its promise of peace on earth.
All you who feel alone look to this night and its promise of love to all people.
Eternal and Beloved,
Source of All Light and All Love
Tonight, we are a people crying out for love and peace.
Open our eyes and our hearts together. Let us become fully present to ourselves and to our world.
Be our touchstone in the coming year. Embrace us and work through us.
Make us angels, announcing your presence to the world.
Make us shepherds, awake to the promise while the rest of the world sleeps.
Make us wise ones, who see the spirit where others cannot, and are generous with our own gifts, given in its service.
Make us the child in whom the promise is renewed.
May the Eternal and Beloved bless us this night.
May the peace of this Christmas, and the grace and promise of love renewed, be with us now and always.
Source: Christmas Eve Meditation by Rev. John A. Cullinan, serving the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, New Mexico, delivered at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, on December 24, 2005. Used with permission from the author.Tags: celebration, holidays, hope, John Cullinan, love, peace, prayer