A Prayer for the People in the Supply Chain with which we Celebrate Our Savior’s Birth

Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., visits a women's sewing factory in the Dehiyshe refugee camp near Bethlehem in the West Bank on Jan. 12, 2007. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

Oh loving God, who out of love chose to save us, to be with us, to be born meek and lowly,

We celebrate your great gift of love by giving gifts to those we love.

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As we give these gifts, help us remember the people behind them:

the miners and harvesters, who work in difficult and dangerous conditions,

the factory and garment workers, who have labored overtime sometimes in sweatshop conditions,

the temporary workers in warehouses rushing to fill our last minute orders,

the clerks who work all day in the crowded stores that overwhelm us in minutes,

the seasonal hires driving the trucks that deliver them to our doors.

So many of them are meek and lowly, working in insecure jobs that pay too little.

These people are hidden to us…hidden behind the glossy catalogues, hidden behind the store displays, hidden behind the effortless click of online shopping. Each gift we give is the end point of countless invisible relationships.

As we celebrate your light amid the darkness, let us recall the weight of these relationships that are kept so easy for us to forget. May these people in darkness see your great light.

Let us remember them, not simply with a tip of the hat to uneasy conscience, but as a part of a vast system we have built that desperately needs to be redeemed.

Let us see that they are part of our celebration during Christmas, so that they may be part of our honest embrace of your call to salvation the rest of the year.

Vincent J. Miller

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