John 15:10-12
” If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”.

Gracious God, we come before you today exactly one week before we will celebrate the birth of Your Son Jesus Christ, who came into our world over 2,000 years ago. This baby came to bring us a message of hope, of peace and love but, so too, a message of joy, the joy that comes from being in a living relationship with You through the gift of Your Son, and the joy of knowing that we have a creator God who loves and cares for us. We are never truly alone, Emmanuel, God is with us, You are with us. Lord God, we know that our Christmas festivities will not be the same this year and we are disappointed, frustrated and sad. But as we prepare for a very different Christmas in the week ahead, help us to keep a sense of hope, peace and joy in our hearts knowing that ultimately, Christmas is about love, love that was poured into our world that first Christmas Day so that we may experience what it really means to love and to be loved. In the name of Your Son, the baby in the manger, joy to the world, we give You thanks, Amen.