December 18, 2011 - 10:15am
Gracious God, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, God, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple, walking annoyingly slowly through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress, is savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last Christmas shopping they ever do together.
Loving God, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is Jesus Christ. In this Advent – Christmas season, remind us that it is not enough to share Christ’s love only with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not just to the ones who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, showing patience, empathy and love. Amen.
(Adapted from a prayer found several years ago on the internet)