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Monday, December 24, 2012

God's love beside us: The 11th Hour Preacher Party Christmas Edition

Today begins what I am calling a growing meditation. Four posts will appear over the course of the day beginning with this prayer, followed in a few hour with a meditation on the prayer, then a YouTube, and concluding with another prayer. Perhaps you will find resources to aid in your sermon preparation from these offerings? Perhaps they will serve as balm for your troubled spirit? Perhaps they will feed you in some way as we welcome Christmas into our lives, the birth of the Christ child. Merry Christmas friends.

A Christmas Prayer
originally posted on this blog by me on Monday December 24, 2007...A longer reflection follows.

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet,
you came.

You crept in beside us.

And no one knew.
Only the few
who dared to believe
that God might do something different.

Will you do the same this Christmas, Lord?

Will you come into the darkness of tonight/today's world;
not the friendly darkness
as when sleep rescues us from tiredness,
but the fearful darkness,
in which people have stopped believing
that war will end
or that food will come
or that a government will change
or that the Church cares?

Will you come into that darkness
and do something different
to save your people from death and despair?

Will you come into the quietness of this city/town,
not the friendly quietness
as when lovers hold hands,
but the fearful silence when
the phone has not rung,
the letter has not come,
the friendly voice no longer speaks,
the doctor's face says it all?

Will you come into that darkness,
and do something different,
not to distract, but to embrace your people?

And will you come into the dark corners
and the quiet places of our lives?

We ask this not because we are guilt-ridden
or want to be,
but because the fullness of our lives long for
depends on us being as open and vulnerable to you
as you were to us
when you came,
wearing no more than diapers,
and trusting human hands
to hold their maker.

Will you come into our lives,
if we open them to you
and do something different?

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet
you came.

You crept in beside us.

Do the same this Christmas, Lord.

Do the same this Christmas.

(Iona Community)

Later today a meditation on this prayer will be posted.


  1. I love this -- used it at the Longest Night service last Friday. Thank you for bringing me back to it!

  2. I think it must have been about 2007 when this was first used as the Christmas Eve prayer in my home church, and I will be using it tonight in the church I serve. I remember being completely captivated by the phrase "trusting human hands to hold their maker." Thank you, Terri.

  3. Robin, I have a child reading this prayer tonight to open our worship service. We will be in darkness, except for some candles. She will not be seen, just her voice heard. She's about 12 or 13. In practicing with her I was struck, again and again, by that phrase. Trusting human hands to hold their maker.

  4. So I just finished my homily for tonight, and with some very minor tweaks, I will use it tomorrow morning, too, Two different audiences,so it will be okay and I am mightily relieved to have it done because I am SO behind in getting my "home stuff" done. Fortunately my kids aren't arriving until the day after Christmas, so I have tomorrow, too. Whew.

    An Advent reflection from Credo on Christ coming anew was my inspiration. Grateful for that, too-- I needed a new approach for Christmas.

    Blessings to all on this hurried and holy day!

  5. Christmas Eve is over here in Beijing. We sang and prayed, and I offered the following reflection:

    It was followed by bag-packing and present-wrapping and checking that there are, in fact, gifts for all of our nieces and nephews! Now for some sleep.

    Warm thoughts to all of you on this busy day! And when it dawns at your place - Merry Christmas!

    1. This link may work for Jemma's homily here


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