Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Holy God,

When a new emperor
took the throne,
messengers were sent
to the rich and powerful
to deliver “glad tidings”
of Caesar, who was called
“savior and lord” and
promised to bring
peace to the empire
through the power
of his vast riches
and his mighty armies.

But when the King was born,
messengers from God were sent,
not to the rich and powerful,
but to those too poor
to be noticed by the empire.

And for the first time,
they heard glad tidings
of good news, that peace
would come to the world,
not by the power of force
but through the power of love.

Look within my heart, Lord,
this Christmas season.

May what you find there
reflect the humility
of the ones to whom
your messengers
were first sent.

And forgive me for when
I’ve turned the celebration
of your birth into something
that served the empire
more than it did your Kingdom.