One of the wonderful things about the Christmas season is it’s power to move us to prayer and meditation, especially during our years in college. We have a time built in that removes us from the busyness of life as a college student. I know when I was in school I looked forward to the Christmas break as the years went on and my school work became more abundant and higher in difficulty. During my latter years of college I would use the Christmas season as a time to recoup and and draw near to God through prayer and meditation. However, it was not always perfect, as I’m sure you can attest too. It is increasingly simple to become apathetic and wasteful with our built in time off from school and other tasks the college experience throws at us.
I want to offer you two ancient prayers to remind us of what this season is truly for, and how it should shape our time away from school.
“God, which makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only son Jesus Christ; grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge, who liveth and reigneth now and ever. Amen.”
This first prayer reminds us that Christ was born to be our redeemer and Lord and that Christmas is a built in way for us to be reminded of that, yearly. Through Him all things will be made new. What a promise and reminder for us, that there is a reason for hope! We aren’t stuck in this world without hope, without an answer to sickness, to war, greed and corruption. That the living God, Christ, will return to be judge over all! We should have confidence in him, and Christmas is a reminder to us of his great love.
“Almighty God, which hast given us thy only begotten son to take our nature upon him, and this day to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy holy spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holy ghost now and ever. Amen.”
Again we are reminded of Christs unbelievable power in the fist line. That He has taken our sinful nature upon himself, and why? So that we will be regenerated and made to be his children through God’s grace. Simply put, Christ has come to save us from ourselves and Christmas is a time to remember that God gave us this by his powerful grace.
These two prayers bring me much joy and hope this holiday season. I have a savior who not only loves me but knows whats best for me. This season is much more than decorations, gifts and time off. Christmas is about Christ, about the incarnation, and the Atonement. I have been helped, therefore I believe. God is for me, therefore He is with me. This Christmas season take this time to draw into God and his promises in your life and see that Christmas is important, even moving.
The prayers above are from Thomas Cranmer and can be found in The Collects of Thomas Cranmer; edited and compiled by C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl.