Slowly and sleepily we come to you today, O God.
Christmas, for better or for worse,
is behind us for another year.
We are variously glad to have experienced it,
and glad that it is over.
Disappointing or fulfilling,
the same as usual or strangely different,
surrounded by family, happily or painfully alone,
Christmas is past. The festival is over.
As we breathe a sigh of satisfaction or relief,
we stop to think what happens now.
Christmas may be over, but incarnation is not.
The mysterious presence, the divine spirit
that confronted people all those years ago
in Jesus, is here with us still—
always has been, always will be.
You are Emmanuel, God with us,
and having glimpsed you once,
we can never be the same again.
Loving God, it was not the people like us—
religious, respectable—who recognised you
when you came before.
May we not miss you this time.
May we learn from this ancient story
where you are most likely to be found:
not among royalty, but with the refugees;
not in the centre, but on the margins,
with those whom people like us,
are most likely to overlook.