NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 12/13

I grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts.  Here's a photo of 
of Danvers square at Christmas time in the 1950's...
    (click on the image for a larger version)
    Danvers Square in the 1950's

Around this time of year, Lord, some 65 years ago, 
my sister and I, on a cold December night, 
would walk 'round Danvers Square and, 
with the fortune of a few dollars in our pockets,
do all our Christmas shopping 
for our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles... 

These gifts I remember: 
hairnets and pipe cleaners, 
costume jewelry and fancy hankies,
bobby pins and a box of Salada tea bags: 
    treasures we bought and wrapped up nice 
    in white, sparkled tissue paper
    with curling ribbon and To and From tags...
Small, simple gifts from innocent hearts,
delighted to give, to share with the ones 
whose love was our world...  
Small, simple gifts, Lord, wrapped with joy, 
tucked 'neath the tree, 'til Christmas eve
and the time to give and receive...
Help me find again, Lord, a child's pure joy: 
the joy of giving simple gifts 
to those whose love is now my world 
- and to those in the world who live in need  
of the gift of my love and 
a share of the many dollars I'll spend 
on those who already have more than they need...

My parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles 
- and so many more, both family and friends - 
have now gone home 
to open the gift every heart desires:
    your healing love and your lasting peace
    with joy, in your arms, forever...
Open wide my heart, as they did, Lord,
to your word, your love and your gospel:
    help me freely give, as a child does,
    simple gifts from a pure, simple heart...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...
Tonight's song is Christmas Memories by Alabama:
    not a hymn in the classic sense
    unless you believe (as I do) 
    that everything sung from the heart
    is heard as a hymn by God... 

Christmas Memories by Alabama
     performed by Kenneth Midtbo

If a video doesn't appear below, click here!


Advent Blessing  
    composed by Michael Joncas and Alan Hommerding





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