This photo takes me to a place deep in my heart where some of my most cherished childhood memories are stored. This was our family creche (we called it "the manger") which sat atop our television, on my mother's hope chest, in the den. It was here that my parents first taught me the story of Jesus' birth.
And do you see a small church on the left, in a grove of four pines? An interior light gave a warm glow from within and a tiny bell with a clapper hung in the steeple. On the right are four members of a children's choir, each a candle with a wick on top which - we never lit! That little choir sang in our den from year to year. Oh, how well I remember all of this!
This photo holds the key to a store house of memories in my heart. Some Christmas memories bring us joy, others bring us tears... Let's pause for prayer...
All it takes, Lord, is an old photo,
an ornament on the tree,
or a special song or carol
to open my heart to memories
of Christmases long ago...
When memories bring me joy
let me revel in and cherish
what my heart has kept so carefully
for times like these
when I so long to touch
what's passed beyond my reach...
And when memories fill my soul
with loss, regret and hurt,
let your healing Christmas touch
mend what's broken in my heart...
Let my joyful memories give me faith
to find within my heart
those I wish were in my arms,
the ones I hold in love, in prayer,
in thoughts of Christmas past...
As this season stirs and opens up
the treasures in my soul,
let me handle each one gently, Lord,
and with your gentle hand,
help me treasure all I find...
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