A Christmas Prayer with Seven Words

Against a stark grey sky, two tall evergreens are decked with simple white lights

We remember the Magi,
Observers of stars,
Evidence-based seekers
Who found their way to kneel before a baby.
May we, too, kneel before life’s intricate mysteries
Following the path of science-based searchers for truth

We remember Mary,
Birth-mother of a revolutionary prophet
The fetus in her womb a surprise,
Her choice a decision to magnify her hope,
The birth difficult,
Attended by a beautiful diversity of animals,
And a rag-tag gathering of vulnerable people.
May we too, kneel at the cradle of earth’s dreams for peace
And dedicate ourselves to revolutionary love.

We remember Joseph,
Unexpectant father,
Who embraced the baby as his own
Believing that every child has a God-given entitlement to love and care.
May we too, stand by the women and children of this world
When patriarchal privilege and power threaten their freedom
And put their well-being at risk.

We remember the Angels
Singing in a cold night to the over-taxed poor,
Promising peace and goodwill to all.
May we echo their song in acts of solidarity and justice
For all souls—refugee souls, green souls, disabled souls,
Black souls, young souls, transgender souls.
May we join the bold, holy movement
To bring heaven to earth.
May the Morning Star brighten our hope for a new day,
And may laughter strengthen all our prayers. AMEN.
—offered on December 17, 2017 at All Souls Church Unitarian, Washington, DC

Editor's note: as noted above, this prayer was written and delivered in 2017, days after former President Donald Trump and his administration banned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from using the following seven words/phrases: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” This prayer by Rev. Dr. Parker is one way that Unitarian Universalist (and other) clergy protested and resisted that decision.