Today is Christmas Day, Wednesday the 25 December and everyone here at Pray As You Go and Jesuits in Britain would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas!

‘His love will hold me, His love will cherish me, His love will cradle me’. As we prayerfully celebrate the birth of Christ today, we hear the Portsmouth Grammar school choir sing, ‘My Lord Has Come’ by Will Todd.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

As we have done a few times now, instead of focusing on the words of the reading today, we’re going to focus on the event itself; and instead of repeating the reading, we’ll spend a fair bit of time contemplating each scene, imagining each of the three scenes described here as vividly as we can.  Firstly, then, the shepherds, having heard the angel’s proclamation, hurry to Bethlehem to see it.  Imagine what it is like for them – the excitement in their hearts, amazed but not fully understanding what is going on.  Perhaps imagine yourself as one of them, hearing this amazing news, and hurrying, running to see it for yourself.    

They arrive and find Mary and Joseph and the child laying in the manger.  Imagine them standing and looking.  Perhaps imagine yourself as one of the shepherds, just standing there and beholding this scene.  What kind of place is it?  What does it look like, sound like…? What does it smell like?  Spend a few moments now, taking it all in. 

Finally, the shepherds return, glorifying and praising God for all they have heard and seen, just as it had been told them.  Imagine for a moment the joy in their hearts, the look on their faces, the things they say, the wonder in their voices as they tell everyone they meet the amazing news of what they have seen and heard.

Mary, the scripture tells us, treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.  From this time of prayer, what do you want to treasure and ponder in your heart?   What is in your heart now that you want to bring before the Lord? 

To conclude our prayer time on this Christmas Day, One Hope Project sing a version of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.