23 December 2009

A Prayer upon Christmas from Starck's Prayer Book

O holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, would that every drop of my blood were a tongue, that I might praise Your love, grace and mercy!

God is love! This truth my heart and mind perceive on this holy festival. Your love has found a means for bringing grace to humanity, of which neither angels nor human beings would have dared to think! Namely, that the second person of the Godhead was to become man, to sanctify and cleanse our human nature. O gracious Jesus, everlasting praise and thanks to You for Your incarnation and birth. You became a child of man that we might become children of God. Now our human nature is truly exalted: You have united it with Your divinity, and brought it into the council of the Holy Trinity. O love! O grace! As surely as the human nature is united with the divine, so surely everlasting friendship, everlasting reconciliation, everlasting peace and everlasting love has been established between God and all people. When God beholds us in His Son, He cannot but be gracious to us. For He who spared not His beloved Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things – the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, peace, life, and salvation?

Oh, the greatness of the love of Jesus, who chose to be born a tender infant, that He might sanctify our sinful birth! He increased in wisdom and stature that He might sanctify our youth. Welcome to earth, O noble Guest, Through whom the sinful world is blest! You came to share my misery That You might share Your joy with me. What thanks shall I return to You? O dearest Friend of souls! My Brother! I now have in You a Helper in affliction, a Deliverer in tribulation, a Savior when my sins terrify me, an Aid in need, a Support in death. You are my Light; enlighten me! You are the Way that leads me to the Father. You are the Truth that teaches me to know that Life which gives life. You are my Righteousness; You justify and save me. You are my High Priest, who intercedes for me and blesses me. You are the Lamb sacrificed for my trespasses, the full Ransom for all my transgressions.

O precious Holy Spirit, how great is Your love in having this comfort, this joy, this salvation proclaimed to me again! From my heart I rejoice on this holy festival and say: My Jesus is mine; His heaven is mine. This Child is born for me, yes, truly for me. This Son is given for me, yes, truly for me. He has obtained and given also to me, yes to me, the grace of God, sonship with Him, and the eternal inheritance that is reserved for us in heaven.

O Jesus, whom in spirit I behold and gaze upon in the manger, how lovely, how kind You are! Grant me grace never to forget You, but to keep You ever in my heart, on my lips, and before my eyes. O my Salvation, sanctify me! I yield myself to You with all that I am and have. O my Bridegroom, embrace me. For You I will live, You I will serve, from love of You I renounce the world and all the pleasures of this life. Let my heart be Your manger and Your dwelling in time and in eternity. Enfold and keep me in Your love, that I may have rest, peace, comfort, safety and the salvation of my soul. Now that my Jesus has become man, I am not lost. Since I believe in Him, I will not perish, but have everlasting life. God is my Friend, because by faith I am in Jesus, and because Jesus is in me. I do not fear death; for in Him I have life. I do not fear the accusation of my conscience on account of my sins, for Jesus, my Advocate, is with me.

(p. 57, 58)


Boaz said...

One of the best book purchases I've ever made. Great job!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer said...

Ditto what Boaz said!

christl242 said...

I enjoyed the Christmas readings from Starck this morning as well.

I see what you mean, Pastor Weedon, about how these prayers grow on one. They naturally cause one to slow down and truly meditate on what one is reading.

The morning reading where Starck refers to Mary as the tabernacle cleansed from sin by the Holy Spirit to make a fitting dwelling place for Christ was very inspiring. I also find the inclusion of hymns from LSB very edifying.