The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.


Lord God, I wasn’t expecting this, but I believe that You are still in control, and You are close to me even in this moment (Psalm 46:1). Thank You that before any of this even happened, You already knew it all, and You will provide a way through this (Psalm 23:4). Let Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, guard me from dwelling on disastrous possibilities, and plant my feet firmly on what is true (Phil 4:6-8). Help me to trust You even in this hard place, and give me your perfect peace as I fix my mind on You (Isaiah 26:3). No matter what ends up happening, I believe You will use it for good (Jeremiah 29:11), to make much of Jesus and to make me more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). I trust You. I love You. Amen.


Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I'm caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns, and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace—the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind. Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking "if-onlys" and "what-ifs" fill me with needless worry.
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