Karl Barth offered this prayer before a Christmas Communion in Basil, Switzerland, in 1958:
“We remember before thee all darkness and suffering of our time...We remember the sick and mentally ill, the needy, the refugees, the oppressed and the exploited, the children who have no good parents or no parents at all. We remember all those who are called on to help as much as [humans] can help, the officials of our country and of all other countries, the judges and civil servants, the teachers and educators, the writers of books and newspapers, the doctors and nurses in the hospitals, the preachers of thy word...We remember them all when we implore thee to let thy light of Christmas shine brightly, much more brightly than ever, for them and for us, so that they and we ourselves may be helped. We ask all this in the name of the Savior in whom thou hast already hearkened to our supplications and wilt do so again and again.”
May Christ himself shine “much more brightly than ever” in our hearts, and may we discern his brightness in the darkest and most unexpected places this year.