A Prayer of Gratitude

A Christmas village with lighted buildings, various small figures and a lighted Christmas tree in the middle.
Great or small, we can make our communities a place of light. © 2020 Marty Schafer

As we near the end of both this Holiday season and the year 2020, there are still things we can all be thankful for, regardless of our faiths or lack thereof. I will use the terminology I am accustomed to as a Christian, but I invite you to substitute whatever nouns/pronouns you are most comfortable with.

We are grateful, God, for the promise of light even in these darkest days of the year (in the northern hemisphere). Thank you for the scholars of ages past, who learned the patterns of the sun and seasons to give us hope for Spring, even as we struggle with Winter.

We are grateful, too, for the lights of Hanukkah, which remind us that miracles do happen. May our eyes be opened to see the miracles that occur around us daily—unheralded but powerful, nonetheless.

We are grateful for Kwanzaa, Advent calendars, and other traditions that remind us of the importance of family, and community, and unity.

We are grateful, God, for the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World. May we who follow him let his light shine through us in love, and grace, and peace.

We are grateful for all who choose to work during holidays so their fellows can be home. And for those who have no choice. May they be blessed with health and sustenance and happiness; may someone reach out to them and let them know they are appreciated.

We are grateful for those who have worked incessantly to find ways to treat and prevent the pandemic we call COVID-19. May those who promote fear for fear’s sake be silenced, and may sound reasoning prevail for all.

And as we move into a New Year with new hopes and dreams, my we not turn our backs on the hard lessons of 2020. Rather, may we build on those lessons—as painful as they may be—to seek better ways to communicate, to lift one another up, and to build community with compassion and grace.

Amen (So be it).

Grace, Peace and Hugs to you all. Merry Christmas!

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