A benediction for the week of Christmas

May every joy be yoursthis Holiday This Christmas,

May we bask in Your holiness when the days do not feel holy, when the world feels surely lonely, when we can't seem to find the unfailing, steadfast star.

May we breathe in Your glory when the darkness settles in like a blanket all around us, and the time is shifting faster than we ever thought it could.

May we soak in Your goodness when our ugliness rears her wicked head reaching out from our innermost places, and she scares and shames us with her thoughts and words and actions that we wish we didn't have.

May we believe in Your enough-ness when we don't feel enough for ourselves, when our inadequacy grows larger than what we believe we are capable of, when we need a reminder that You are enough for us.

May we rest in Your love because that is the reason You came for us: relentless, humble, extraordinary love that defies boundaries and reason. May we stop trying to convince ourselves that You could never love a girl like us, but rest in the love that comes freely.

And finally,

May we be wrapped within the arms of Jesus, know a deeper love we've never known before, and find hope in the promise of Emmanuel -- God with us, always.

Merry Christmas.