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Hopefully you have time to relax and take it slow today.  In any case, take some quiet time to spend with God, who has come to be among us this Christmas and always.

Jesus, our Lord and leader, we give you thanks for your disciple Stephen and for the witness of his life and death.  May we follow you and seek your will even if the road is difficult, knowing that you are with us and will never, ever leave us.  We pray for all of those who are suffering persecution for following you – give them strength and hope in the midst of trials.  We pray also for their persecutors that you might turn their hearts from fear and hatred and toward love and openness to the other.  In Christ’s beautiful name we pray, AMEN. 

Close with the Lord’s Prayer, slowly saying each line.